Russian carrier Yakutia Airlines has announced plans to expand its scheduled air service between Alaska and the Russian Far East. In June 2013, the airline will resume seasonal passenger and air cargo service from Anchorage to signature destination Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky, on the Kamchatka Peninsula, and will extend the service to include Khabarovsk, one of Eastern Russia’s most important transportation hubs. Flights will operate for 14 weeks (June 27 to September 26) utilizing Boeing 737-700 aircraft; flight time from Anchorage to Kamchatka is less than 4 ½ hours. The flights are welcomed by outdoorsmen, business people, tourists and families with ties in both the US and Russia. Tickets go on sale via major computer reservations systems and the AirRussia.US sales network in January, 2013. Outfitters and tour operators are taking advantage of the flights to offer a broad range of travel opportunities to Kamchatka and Eastern Russia.
Russia’s Kamchatka Peninsula is renowned for world-class fly fishing and exceptional wildlife viewing. Thousands of miles of pristine streams and rivers flow from the peninsula’s central mountain ridges to the sea, forming ideal trout and salmon habitat. Brown bear, snow ram, Steller’s sea eagle and seabird populations also abound. The region’s volcanoes, Uzon caldera and Geyser Valley have been designated by UNESCO as a World Heritage site. The peninsula is also home to the indigenous Itelmen, Koryak and Even peoples. Travel to Kamchatka has recently been featured in Fly Fisherman (Feb-Mar 2013) and Surfer (Dec 2012) magazines. Yakutia Airlines and Kamchatka will be represented at the Travel and Adventure Show (Santa Clara, February 16-17, 2013) and the Alaska-Russia Tourism Fair (Anchorage, February 17-19, 2013).
The newest city in the Alaska-Russia service, Khabarovsk, is an important crossroads of river, train and air transportation just a few miles from the Chinese border. Travelers may connect here to the Trans-Siberian Railroad or to flights throughout Russia. Named for Cossack Yerofey Khabarov who explored the Amur River in 1651, the city of Khabarovsk is one of the region’s oldest and most picturesque cities.
Tour operators and outfitters experienced in travel to Eastern Russia offer trips to accommodate a wide range of interests, ranging from wildlife and cultural tours to fishing, volcano-climbing and scientific expeditions. Major fly-fishing outfitters include The Best of Kamchatka and The Fly Shop. Tours to view wildlife, experience Kamchatka’s indigenous cultures, and explore its geologic wonders first hand include Kamchatintour, MIR Corporation, 50 Degrees North, Explore Kamchatka and Ultimate Rivers. Planet Yakutia offers a diverse range of tours to Yakutsk and the Republic of Sakha. Klondike Travel offers trip packages for Russians traveling to Alaska, Hawaii, Seattle, and other US travel destinations. Most operators are pleased to arrange custom trips upon request. Links to operator sites may be found at AirRussia.US.
Yakutia Airlines is a regional Russian airline headquartered in the central Siberian city of Yakutsk, capital of the Republic of Sakha. It maintains hubs in Yakutsk, Moscow and Krasnodar, in Russia’s Black Sea resort area. The airline operates scheduled passenger service throughout Russia, Europe and Central Asia, carries more than 80,000 passengers per month, and employs more than 1400. In 2011 it was nominated to for the prestigious “Wings of Russia” prize as the country’s best regional air carrier. It operates a fleet of more than 30 modern aircraft, including Boeing 737 and 757, Bombardier Dash-8 Q-300, and Sukhoi Superjet aircraft. The airline’s maintenance facility at Yakutsk is specially designed to repair, maintain and test aircraft in the extreme cold winter conditions for which the region is known.
In May 2012, Yakutia Airlines received authorization from United States authorities to serve Alaska, and successfully provided passenger and cargo service on the Anchorage – Petropavlovsk route for ten weeks that year. In 2013, the schedule and routing for the Anchorage-Petropavlovsk-Khabarovsk route will allow for convenient connections to Yakutsk, Irkutsk, Vladivostok, and others cities throughout Russia. Flight time from Anchorage to Kamchatka is 4 hours, 20 minutes, and from Kamchatka to Khabarovsk is an additional 2 ½ hours. The airline will also offer nonstop service from Kamchatka to Tokyo, Japan, in July 2013. Details about Yakutia Air’s service, including schedules, traveler information, and tours are available at AirRussia.US.
InterPacific Aviation and Marketing, Inc (Seattle, USA) represents Yakutia Airlines in North America, and provides travel, air cargo, and promotional services. It specializes in travel between North America and the Russian Far East. For more information, see its web portal AirRussia.US.