Rossiya Airlines, , a subsidiary of the Aeroflot group, has returned to flying with one of its Boeing 747-400s, the company announced.
The four-engined, 522-seat aircraft is flying between Moscow and Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk, on Sakhalin Island, located in the Pacific Ocean.
The carrier has nine 747-400 jets, all of which are over 20 years old. Since the invasion of Ukraine and the trade sanctions imposed by Western countries, Boeing aircraft have lost technical support, which makes their use difficult.
For reasons that are not entirely clear, Rossiya managed to return the 747-400 with registration RA-73286 to flying condition. Three other “Jumbos” also carried out test flights in August, but so far they have not taken on commercial frequencies.
The island of Sakhalin is a tourist destination for Russians and is about 6,700 km from Moscow. Rossiya usually uses its Boeing 777s on the route, but they have a lower passenger capacity, from 373 to 457 seats, depending on the model.
Unlike air travel in the West, Rossiya flights to Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk have a fixed price in economy class and cost around US$130.
There is, however, a subsidized fare under the Russian government’s air travel accessibility program.