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We’re always intrigued by some of the air carriers based in Russia, so when we heard about Vladivostok Air bringing some flights to Alaska we just had to share. The airline is the new face of Russian aviation—at least according to their website—but they’ve actually been around for quite some time, doing their thing since the 1930s in one form or another.
Vladivostok Air is now planning weekly flights for a couple of months beginning next summer between Anchorage and Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky. Sure it’s not Moscow or St. Petersburg, but a trip there will definitely get your friends to haul out the atlas and try to figure out where the heck the Kamchatka Peninsula is. Oh, and it’s pretty much Siberia, so there’s always that perk.
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Proponents of the "social media can actually change things" school of thought recently got a boost from a weird fiasco in Israel. The price of cottage cheeseof all thingshad increased dramatically over a couple of months, and had reached the point where it was double or triple the cost of cottage cheese in surrounding areas. Someone decided to launch a boycott, and from there things took off. Facebook pages were opened, Twitter hashtags were launched, and results were had. People are now debating whether the "successful Facebook rebellion heralds a new era."
Maybe, maybe not. What really struck us was how the dustup over Israeli cottage cheese prices lined up with this new report from the Economist Intelligence Unit. The organization just published their latest Worldwide Cost of Living survey, and it turns out that the global economy is much weirder that even seasoned travelers can imagine.
Bread in Moscow is three times more expensive than it is in London, but cigarettes in Moscow are more than five times cheaper than in the British capital. So if you're worried about your inability to buy bread in Russia, at least you can smoke nervously about it.
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Steven Frischlingairline geek, professional photographer and travel security blogger of Flying With Fishsteps in to give us an update on the emergency situation currently playing out in Moscow:
Moscow's Domodedovo International Airport (DME), 26 miles southeast of Moscow and a favorite of low-cost carriers, was torn apart by a bomb blast earlier today at 4:37pm MSK, in the international arrivals lounge area.
The explosion is believed to be set off by at least one suicide bomber, although police postulate that the blast area is potentially from more than one bomb. The blast killed a confirmed 31 people, with more than 130 others injured.
Despite the fact that the explosion quickly filled the airport's single terminal with smoke, causing the airport's evacuation, Domodedovo has now miraculously reopened for flights just a few hours after the deadly terrorist attack. Russian news outlet RT.com reports that flights for this evening are departing on time.
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We're not alone in our weather delay misery this week! Yay? Now that Northern Europe and the UK are mostly shoveled clear for air travel to resume somewhat normal levels, the US East Coast falls to Mother Nature, as does Russia. According to RIA Novosti it's freezing rain causing the problem, however, and although the airports aren't completely shut-down, they're operating slower than a Zaporozhets and causing dangerous levels of frustration:
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Just moments ago, two huge announcements hit the world, news that brings major repercussions for tourism, development, media and (of course) money. FIFA revealed the winner countries who will get to host the 2018 and 2022 World Cup. Russia will host the 2018 World Cup and Qatar will host the 2022 World Cup. Yo, Qatar Airways and Aeroflot, you can start sketching some new World Cup airplane livery now.
Russia beat out England, Spain-Portugal and Holland-Belgium to win for 2018, while Qatar took top spot for 2022 over the United States, South Korea, Japan and Australia.
Raise your hand if you can name any Russian airlines. Wait, you didn't know there was more than Aeroflot? Well there is, and one of them has their sights firmly set on more direct routes between Moscow and the United States. We're talking about Transaero, an airline that's been around since 1990 and will now begin flying to both New York and Miami later this month.
With only 50 planes, Transaero is far from being mistaken as a huge airline, but they are pretty major over in Russia and are favorites for holiday travel, with routes like Moscow to Sharm el Sheikh and Moscow to London. The new Miami service is unique as it will make Transaero the first airline ever to have non-stop flights between Moscow and Miami.
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Flight attendants are up to their sexy mischief again, right? Wrong. On Monday we caught you up on the most recent perk being given to male Aeroflot VIPs, a calendar filled with some of the Russian airline's flight attendants being very, very naked. This gift was in some ways an implicit response to an arguably more provocative ad from Russian LCC Avianova, which involves bikini-clad stewardesses soaping down an airplane for no discernible reason (cost-cutting maybe?).
Don't worry, you can view the whole titillating commercial below, but first let's discuss how Australia's flight attendants are calling for a ban on it.
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Of all the NSFW flight attendant posts we've doneand we've done more than a couple recentlythis is by far the NSFW-iest of all. Russia's national airline Aeroflot regularly mails out gifts to its VIP loyalty program members, and this year they've settled on one perk designed to literally perk up their male customers.
The company will send out a 2011 calendar that fits nicely into the rest of Russia's sex-soaked culture, where each page has one of the airline's female flight attendants in some state of undress. And by "some state" we mean "totally, completely, unapologetically naked." Between this and last year's Aeroflot news, it seems like Aeroflot's cabin crew is perpetually just a video camera and a bong hit away from a debaucherous drug-fueled orgy. Which is kind of awesome.
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Currently listed in Wikipedia as "Last eruption: 2010 (continuing)," Russia's Shiveluch volcano took its place over the weekend as the newest candidate for traveler Big Ash problems. The 70,000 year old volcano started erupting in May 2009 and is still going strong, spewing volcanic ash some three miles into the atmosphere in just the last few days. Experts insist that there's no danger to local villages and that travel disruptions should minimal, but experts are also notoriously bad at these sorts of things. So we figured it's good to put this on your radar.
That way when your flight over the Pacific is "unexpectedly" disrupted next week, you'll know whom to blame (Science!)
DD actually opened in Russia 11 years ago but demand was weak (Russians were reportedly confused by the donuts) and DD later closed their two shops. But this time, DD is intent on getting Russia to run on Dunkin' with plans to open 20 stores in Moscow.
The first restaurant in Moscow on Novy Arbat Street, one of the city’s most prestigious and historic areas, will be open to the public on May 11th. This opening marks Dunkin’ Donuts’ plans to expand steadily throughout Russia and Ukraine over the next several years.
Donuts Project LLC, Dunkin’ Donuts’ franchise partner in Russia, is set to open between 10 and 20 Dunkin’ Donuts restaurants in Moscow and the Moscow region in 2010.
Around 11pm last night EST, which would be during the morning rush hour in Moscow, two separate female suicide bombers detonated themselves in the subway underground of the city. The first occurred in a train at the main station Lubyanka, killing 23 on the train and platform and the second came at the Park Kultury station, killing another 12. The attacks again raise important questions about the safety of public transportation while turning an eye to Russia and their terrorism problems with Islamist rebels fighting for independence in Chechnya.
Russia is not new to subway bombings, but then neither are Tokyo, London or New York, the latter of which has foiled several attempts of terrorists to bomb and even cyanide gas the system. As a result, expect subway security to be beefed up in big cities around the world, especially in New York. Plan for random bag checks and remember that using common sense is a good defense. While there's probably no need to bring your flame-retardent suit on the train today, it's also a good idea to be aware of what's going on around you.
· Moscow Subways Attacked, NYPD Increases Subway Security [Gothamist]
· Two Blasts in Moscow Metro, Dozens Killed [RT]
· Tragedies [Jaunted]
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Is winter cabin fever setting in yet? Are you itching to travel before the holidays ground you with too much cranberry sauce? Well, all we can say is just be happy that you don't live in the region of Chechnya because they just had their first international flight in 15 years.
Okay, so there are other reasons why you should be thankful you don't live in Chechnya, like all that conflict and the human rights violations over the last 18-plus years. But since we've got the current state of Russian carrier Aeroflot on our minds, this bit of news made our ears perk up.