Aeroflot — Russian Airlines
Аэрофлот — Российские авиалинии
Founded 9 February 1923 (1923-02-09) (88 years ago)
Commenced operations 15 July 1923 (1923-07-15)
Hubs Sheremetyevo International Airport
Frequent-flyer program Aeroflot Bonus
Alliance SkyTeam
Fleet size 107 (+210 orders and 10 options)
Destinations 97
Company slogan Sincerely Yours. Aeroflot (Russian: Искренне ваш, Аэрофлот – Iskrenne vash, Aeroflot)
Parent company Government of Russia (51%)
Headquarters Moscow, Russia
Key people
  • Vitaly Gennadevich Saveliev (General Director)[1]
  • Viktor Petrovich Ivanov(Chairman)
  • Aleksandr Yuryevich Zurabov (First Deputy General Director)[2]

OJSC Aeroflot – Russian Airlines (Russian: ОАО «Аэрофло́т-Росси́йские авиали́нии» – Aeroflót-Rossíĭskie avialíniĭ) (MICEX:AFLT RTS:AFLT), commonly known as Aeroflot (Russian: Аэрофлот, English translation: "air fleet"), is the flag carrier and largest airline of the Russian Federation, based on passengers carried per year. Aeroflot operates domestic and international passenger services covering a network of 97 cities in 48 countries, mainly from its hub at Sheremetyevo International Airport.

Headquartered in Arbat District, Central Administrative Okrug, Moscow,[3] Aeroflot is one of the oldest airlines in the world, tracing its history back to 1923. In 1956, it became the first airline to successfully operate regular jet airliner services with the Tupolev Tu-104.

During the Soviet era, Aeroflot was the Soviet national airline and the largest airline in the world.[4][5] Following the dissolution of the USSR, Aeroflot has been transformed from a state-run enterprise into a semi-privatised airline which ranks amongst the most profitable in the world.[6] Aeroflot is still considered the de facto national airline of Russia.[7] It is 51%-owned by the Russian Government, as of June 2011.[8] The company completely owns Donavia since early 2007, when it boosted its participation in the Rostov-on-Don–based airline —then-named Aeroflot-Don from 51% to 100%.[9][10]

Aeroflot has embarked on a fleet modernisation program, extensive route restructuring, and an image overhaul. The airline joined SkyTeam in April 2006, becoming the 10th member of the alliance.[6][11]



Early history of Soviet civil aviation

An early Soviet poster calling on citizens to buy stock in Dobrolyot.

On 17 January 1921, the Sovnarkom of the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic published "About Air Transportation". The document which was signed by Vladimir Lenin set out the basic regulations on air transport over the territory of the RSFSR. The document was significant as it was the first time that a Russian state had declared sovereignty over its airspace. In addition, the document defined rules for the operation of foreign aircraft over the Soviet Union's airspace and territory. After Lenin issued an order, a State Commission was formed on 31 January 1921 for the purpose of civil aviation planning in the Soviet Union. As a result of the commission's plans, Glavvozdukhflot (Chief Administration of the Civil Air Fleet) (Russian: Главвоздухфлот (Главное управление воздушного флота)) was established, and it began mail and passenger flights on the Moscow-Oryol-Kursk-Kharkov route on 1 May 1921 using Sikorsky Ilya Muromets aircraft.[12]:1 This was followed by the formation of Deruluft-Deutsch Russische Luftverkehrs A.G. in Berlin on 11 November 1921, as a joint venture between the Soviet Union and Germany. The company, whose aircraft were registered in both Germany and the Soviet Union, began operations on 1 May 1922 with a Fokker F.III flying between Königsberg and Moscow.[12]:2 The service was initially operated twice a week and restricted to the carriage of mail.[12]:2-3

On 3 February 1923 Sovnarkom approved plans for the expansion of the Red Air Fleet, and it is this date which was officially recognised as the beginning of civil aviation in the Soviet Union. After a resolution of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union, the Enterprise for Friends of the Air Fleet (ODVF) was founded on 8 March 1923, followed by the formation of Dobrolet (Russian: Добролёт) on 17 March 1923. Regular flights by Dobrolet from Moscow to Nizhniy Novgorod commenced on 15 July 1923. During the same period, an additional two airlines were established; Zakavia being based in Tiflis, and Ukrvozdukhput based in Kharkov.[12]:2 During 1923 an agreement was signed establishing a subdivision of Dobrolet to be based in Tashkent, which would operate to points in Soviet Central Asia. Services between Tashkent and Alma Ata began on 27 April 1924, and by the end of 1924 the subdivision had carried 480 passengers and 500 kilograms (1,100 lb) of mail and freight, on a total of 210 flights.[12]:6 In March 1924, Dobrolet began operating flights from Sevastopol to Yalta and Yevpatoriya in the Crimea. Dobrolet's route network was extended during the 1925-1927 period to include Kazan and regular flights between Moscow and Kharkov were inaugurated. Plans were made for Dobrolet flights to Kharkov to connect with Ukrvozdukhput services to Kiev, Odessa and Rostov-on-Don. During 1925, Dobrolet operated 2,000 flights over a distance of 1,000,000 kilometres (620,000 mi), carrying 14,000 passengers and 127,500 kilograms (281,000 lb) of freight, on a route network extending to some 5,000 kilometres (3,100 mi).[12]:7 Dobrolet was transformed from a Russian to an all-Union enterprise on 21 September 1926 as a result of Sovnarkom resolutions, and in 1928 Dobrolet was merged with Ukrvozdukhput; the latter having merged with Zakavia in 1925.[12]:6-7

Formative years

The Tupolev ANT-20bis was used for cargo flights from Moscow to Mineralnye Vody before World War II

Responsibility for all civil aviation activities in the Soviet Union came under the control of the Chief Directorate of the Civil Air Fleet on 25 February 1932, and on 25 March 1932 the name "Aeroflot" was officially adopted for the entire Soviet Civil Air Fleet.[12]:10 The Communist Party of the Soviet Union Congress in 1933 set out development plans for the civil aviation industry for the following five years, which would see air transportation becoming one of the primary means of transportation in the Soviet Union, linking all major cities. The government also implemented plans to expand the Soviet aircraft industry to make it less dependent on foreign built aircraft;[12]:10-11 in 1930 some fifty percent of aircraft flying services in the Soviet Union were of foreign manufacture.[12]:8

Expansion of air routes which had taken shape in the late 1920s,[12]:8 continued into the 1930s. Local (MVL) services were greatly expanded in Soviet Central Asia and the Soviet Far East,[12]:11-13 which by the end of the second Five-Year Plan in 1937 was 35,000 kilometres (22,000 mi) in length out of a total network of some 93,300 kilometres (58,000 mi).[12]:13 The agreement between the Soviet Union and Germany relating to Deruluft expired on 1 January 1937, and wasn't renewed, which saw the joint venture carrier ceasing operations on 1 April 1937. On that date Aeroflot began operations on the Moscow to Stockholm route, and began operating the ex-Derufult route from Leningrad to Riga utilising Douglas DC-3s and Tupolev ANT-35s (PS-35s). Flights from Moscow to Berlin, via Königsberg, were suspended until 1940, when they were restarted by Aeroflot and Lufthansa as a result of the signing of the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact, and would continue until the beginning of the Great Patriotic War in 1941.[12]:5

An Aeroflot PS-84 (a licence-built DC-3) at Moscow City Airport in 1940. The Lisunov Li-2, a derivative of the DC-3 would become the backbone of the fleet after the Great Patriotic War.

Under the third Five-Year Plan, which began in 1938, civil aviation development continued, with improvements to airport installations being made and construction of airports being commenced. In addition to the expansion of services between the Soviet Union's main cities, local routes (MVL) were also expanded, and by 1940, some 337 MVL routes saw operations on a scheduled basis. Serial production of the PS-84 (licence-built DC-3s) commenced in 1939, and the aircraft became the backbone of Aeroflot's fleet on mainline trunk routes. When the Soviet Union was invaded by Nazi Germany on 22 June 1941, the following day the Sovnarkom placed the Civil Air Fleet under the control of Narkomat, leading to the full-scale mobilisation of Aeroflot crews and technicians for the Soviet war effort. Prior to the invasion, the Aeroflot network extended over some 146,000 kilometres (91,000 mi), and amongst the longest routes being operated from Moscow were those to Tbilisi (via Baku), Tashkent and Vladivostok.[12]:13 Aeroflot aircraft, including PS-35s and PS-43s, were based at Moscow's Central Airport, and amongst important missions undertaken by Aeroflot aircraft and crews included flying supplies to the besieged cities of Leningrad, Kiev, Odessa and Sevastopol.[12]:14 During the Battle of Stalingrad, between August 1942 and February 1943, Aeroflot operated 46,000 missions to Stalingrad, ferrying in 2,587 tonnes (5,700,000 lb) of supplies and some 30,000 troops. Following the defeat of the Wehrmacht, some 80 Junkers Ju-52/3Ms were captured from the Germans, and were placed into the service of the Civil Air Fleet, and after the war were placed into regular service across the Soviet Union.[12]:15 Whilst civil operations in European Russia west of the front line, which ran from Leningrad to Moscow to Rostov-on-Don, were prevented from operating because of the war, services from Moscow to the Urals, Siberia, Central Asia, and other regions which were not affected by the war, continued.[12]:15-16 By the end of the war, Aeroflot had flown 1,595,943 special missions, including 83,782 at night, and carried 1,538,982 men and 122,027 tonnes (269,020,000 lb) of cargo.[12]:16

Post-war operations

After its introduction in 1954, the Ilyushin Il-14 operated on Aeroflot's All-Union services.

At the end of the war, the Soviet government went about repairing and rebuilding essential airport infrastructure, and it strengthened the Aeroflot units in the European part of the Soviet Union. Aeroflot had by the end of 1945 carried 537,000 passengers, compared with 359,000 in 1940.[12]:16 The government made it a priority in the immediate postwar years to expand services from Moscow to the capital of the Union republics, in addition to important industrial centres around the country. To enable this, the government transferred to Aeroflot a large number of Li-2s, and they would become the backbone of the fleet.[12]:17

The Ilyushin Il-12 entered service on Aeroflot's all-Union scheduled routes on 22 August 1947, and supplemented already existing Li-2 services. The original Ilyushin Il-18 entered service around the same time as the Il-12, and was operated on routes from Moscow to Yakutsk, Khabarovsk, Vladivostok, Alma Ata, Tashkent, Sochi, Mineralnye Vody and Tbilisi. By 1950 the Il-18 was withdrawn from service, being replaced by Il-12s.[12]:18,20 MVL and general aviation services received a boost in March 1948, when the first Antonov An-2s were delivered and entered service in Central Russia. Development of MVL services over latter years was attributed to the An-2, which was operated by Aeroflot in all areas of the Soviet Union.[12]:20

Aeroflot's route network had extended to 295,400 kilometres (183,600 mi) by 1950, and it carried 1,603,700 passengers, 151,070 tonnes (333,100,000 lb) of freight and 30,580 tonnes (67,400,000 lb) of mail during the same year. Night flights began in the same year, and the 5th Five-Year Plan, covering the period 1951-1955, emphasised Aeroflot expanding night-time operations, which vastly improved aircraft utilisation. By 1952, some 700 destinations around the Soviet Union received regular flights from Aeroflot.[12]:20 On 30 November 1954, the Ilyushin Il-14 entered service, and the aircraft took a leading role in the operation of Aerofclot's all-Union services. The number of passengers carried in 1955 increased to 2,500,000, whilst freight and mail carriage also increased, to 194,960 and 63,760 tons, respectively. By this time, Aeroflot's route network covered a distance of some 321,500 kilometres (199,800 mi).[12]:21

Aeroflot became the first airline in the world with sustained jet aircraft service, when it introduced the Tupolev Tu-104 in 1956.

The 20th Communist Party Congress, held in 1956, saw plans for Aeroflot services to be dramatically increased. The airline would see its overall activities increased from its then current levels by 3.8 times, and it was set the target of the carriage of 16,000,000 passengers by 1960. In order to meet these goals, Aeroflot introduced higher capacity turbojet and turbine-prop aircraft on key domestic routes, and on services to Aeroflot destinations abroad. A major step for Aeroflot occurred on 15 September 1956 when the Tupolev Tu-104 jet airliner entered service on the Moscow-Omsk-Irkutsk route, marking the world's first sustained jet airline service. The airline began international flights with the type on 12 October 1956 under the command of Boris Bugayev with flights from Moscow to Prague. The aircraft placed Aeroflot in an envious position, as airlines in the West had operated throughout the 1950s with large piston-engined aircraft.[12]:21[13]:44[14] By 1958 the route network covered 349,200 kilometres (217,000 mi), and the airline carried 8,231,500 passengers, and 445,600 tons of mail and freight, with fifteen percent of all-Union services being operated by jet aircraft.[12]:23

Aeroflot introduced the Antonov An-10 and Ilyushin Il-18 in 1959, and together with its existing jet aircraft, the airline was able to extend services on modern aircraft to twenty one cities during 1960.[12]:23 The Tupolev Tu-114, then the world's largest airliner, entered service with the Soviet carrier on 24 April 1961 on the Moscow-Khabarovsk route; covering a distance of 6,980 kilometres (4,340 mi) in 8 hours 20 minutes.[12]:24 The expansion of the Aeroflot fleet saw services with modern aircraft being extended to forty one cities in 1961, with fifty percent of all-Union services being operated by these aircraft. This fleet expansion also saw the number of passengers carried in 1961 skyrocketing to 21,800,000.[12]:24

Aeroflot became the first airline to operate the first regional jet, the Yakovlev Yak-40, in 1968.[citation needed]

Further expansion came in 1962 when both the Tupolev Tu-124 and Antonov An-24 entered regular service with Aeroflot on various medium and short-haul routes. By 1964, Aeroflot operated direct flights from Moscow to 100 cities, from Leningrad to 44 cities, and from Kiev to 38 cities. The airline also operated direct flights from Mineralnyie Vody to 48 cities across the Soviet Union, denoting the importance of the operation of holiday aircraft services to Aeroflot.[12]:26 Statistics for the same year showed Aerfolot operating an all-Union route network extending over 400,000 kilometres (250,000 mi), and carrying 36,800,000 passengers.[12]:27

By 1966 Aeroflot carried 47,200,000 passengers over a domestic route network of 474,600 kilometres (294,900 mi). For the period of the 8th Five-Year Plan, which ran from 1966-1970, Aeroflot carried a total of 302,200,000 passengers, 6.47 billion tons of freight and 1.63 billion tons of mail.[12]:27 During the Five-Year Plan period, all-Union services were extended over an additional 350 routes; an additional 1,000 MVL routes were begun, and 40 new routes were opened up with all-cargo flights.[12]:27-28 The year 1967 saw the introduction into service of the Ilyushin Il-62 and Tupolev Tu-134, and in September 1968 the Yakovlev Yak-40 regional jet began operations on short-haul services. By 1970, the last year of the Five-Year Plan period, Aeroflot was operating flights to over 3,500 destinations in the Soviet Union, and at the height of the 1970 summer holidays season, the airline was carrying approximately 400,000 passengers per day, and some ninety percent of passengers were being carried on propeller-turbine and jet aircraft. [12]:28

Expansion of international flights

In January 1971 the Central Administration of International Air Traffic (Russian: Центральное управление международных воздушных сообщений) (TsUMVS) was established within the framework of IATA, and became the sole enterprise authorised to operate international flights. Abroad, the airline was known as Aeroflot Soviet Airlines. In 1976 Aeroflot carried its 100 millionth passenger. Its flights were mainly concentrated around the Soviet Union, but the airline also had an international network covering five continents: North and South America, Europe, Africa and Asia. The network included countries such as the United States, Canada, United Kingdom, Spain, Cuba, Mexico and the People's Republic of China. Since the 1970s some transatlantic flights were flown using Shannon Airport in Ireland as an intermediate stop, as it was the westernmost non-NATO airport in Europe.

Flag of Aeroflot

Aeroflot service between the Soviet Union and the United States was interrupted from 15 September 1983 until 2 August 1990, following an executive order by President Ronald Reagan, revoking the airline's license to operate flights into and out of the United States. The reason for the order was the downing of Korean Air Lines Flight 007 by Soviet Air Force. At the start of the 1990s Aeroflot reorganised again giving more autonomy to territorial divisions. By 1992, REG Davies, former curator of the Smithsonian Institution, claims that by 1992 Aeroflot had over 600,000 people operating over 10,000 aircraft.[15] By 1967, Aeroflot amassed a fleet equal to that of the largest American carriers combined.[5]

In 1992, following the dissolution of the Soviet Union, Aeroflot was divided into more than 300 regional airlines. International routes were operated separately as Aeroflot – Russian International Airlines (ARIA).[16] Some airline companies which were created from the old Aeroflot are now flag carriers of the newly independent countries – for example, Uzbekistan Airways, Air Moldova and Lithuanian Airlines. Smaller regional airlines which emerged out of the old Aeroflot – sometimes just one-plane operations – were sometimes referred to as Babyflots.

In 1994 Aeroflot was registered as a joint stock company and the government sold off 49% of its stake to Aeroflot employees. During the 1990s, Aeroflot was primarily focused on international flights from Moscow. However, by the end of the decade Aeroflot started an expansion in the domestic market. In 2000 the company name was changed to Aeroflot – Russian Airlines to reflect the change in the company strategy.[17]

Other functions

An Aeroflot Mil Mi-10 heavy lift helicopter seen at Groningen Airport in the early 1970s

Aeroflot also performed other functions, including aeromedical, crop-dusting, heavy lifting for the Soviet Space Agency (see Soviet Space Programme), offshore oil platform support, exploration for natural resources, support for construction projects, transport of military troops and supplies (as an adjunct to the Soviet Air Force), atmospheric research, and remote area patrol. It operated hundreds of helicopters and cargo aircraft in addition to civil airliners. It also operated the Soviet equivalent of a presidential aircraft and other VIP transports of government and communist party officials.[4][18]

Aeroflot was also responsible for such services as ice patrol in the Arctic Ocean and escorting of ships through frozen seas, oil exploration, power line surveillance, and transportation and heavy lifting support on construction projects. For the latter tasks, Aeroflot used, in addition to smaller helicopters, the Mi-10 flying crane capable of lifting 11,000 to 14,000 kilograms. Hauling of heavy cargo, including vehicles, was performed by the world's largest operational helicopter, the Mi-26. Its unusual eight-blade rotor enabled it to lift a maximum payload of some twenty tons.[4]

The close relationship between Aeroflot and the Soviet armed forces was underscored by the fact that the minister of civil aviation has been a high-ranking general or marshal of the Air Forces. Most Aeroflot pilots held reserve commissions in the Air Forces. The medium- and long-range passenger and cargo aircraft of Aeroflot were also part of the strategic air transport reserve, ready to provide immediate airlift support to the armed forces. Indeed, many aircraft in Aeroflot's inventory were of the same basic design as military aircraft and, even when loaded with bulky cargo and vehicles, were capable of operating from unimproved fields. They were characterized by high wings, low fuselages with cargo/vehicle loading ramps, and landing gear suitable for unimproved or marshy terrain. Short-range airplanes and helicopters were available for appropriate military support missions. Civil aviation also served as a cover for military operations. According to a Western authority, military aircraft belonging to the Military Transport Aviation (Voennaia transportnaia aviatsiia) have been painted in Aeroflot colors for use as food relief and arms or personnel transports to foreign countries.[4]

Recent developments

The "winged hammer and sickle" is the most recognisable symbol of Aeroflot.

In the early 1990s, the Soviet Union underwent massive political upheavals, culminating in the dissolution of the country. Countries declared their independence during January 1990–December 1991, resulting in the establishment of 15 republics. Up until this time, Aeroflot had been the only establishment providing air services throughout the CIS; with the breakup of the Soviet Union, Aeroflot branches of these countries began their own services – the airline itself came under control of Russia, the largest of the CIS republics, and was renamed "Aeroflot – Russian Airlines" to identify itself from its predecessor[citation needed].[19]

Since the dissolution, Aeroflot has been actively working towards promoting and redefining itself as a safe and reliable airline. From the start, plans were afoot to replace the old Soviet-era hammer and sickle logo, which some people in the West treat as a reminder of Soviet communism. However, as it was for over 70 years the most recognizable symbol of the company, the logo was retained.[20] At the beginning of the 2000s, the airline hired British consultants for rebranding.[20] A new livery and uniforms for flight attendants were designed and a promotional campaign launched in 2003. It carried 5.9 million passengers in 2003.[citation needed]

Its fleet has undergone a major reorganisation during which most of the Soviet aircraft were replaced by more reliable Western jets such as A320/A319 for short-haul flights in Europe and Boeing 767 and Airbus A330 for long-haul routes.

In the spring of 2004 an expansion on the domestic market was undertaken, aiming to gain 30% share by 2010 (as of 2006 it held approximately 9%). The first task was to outperform S7 Airlines, a major rival and the leader in the domestic market. On 29 July 2004 a new corporate slogan was adopted: "Sincerely Yours. Aeroflot".[citation needed]

As of November 2011, Rossiya and other four Russian carriers are under the economical umbrella of Aeroflot-Finance, which is in turn owned by Aeroflot.

On 14 April 2006 Aeroflot became the first air carrier in the former Soviet Union to join a global alliance, SkyTeam.[21] and occupied all of terminal 3 at Sheremetyevo International Airport in 2009.[citation needed] The company has announced its plan to increase cargo operations. It registered the "Aeroflot-Cargo" trademark in 2006.[22] During that year Aeroflot carried 7,290,000 passengers and 145,300 tons of mail and cargo[23] to 89 destinations in 47 countries.[24] It saw improvements in its earnings and number of passengers carried. The net profit reached $309.4 million (RUB 7.98 billion) in 2006, a 32.3% increase from 2005 earnings of only $234 million (RUB6.03 billion). The revenue for the same 2005–2006 period rose by 13.5% to reach $2.77 billion with an 8.7% gain in passenger numbers.[25]

The airline is owned (as of March 2007) by the Russian Government via Rosimushchestvo (51.17%), National Reserve Corporation (27%) and employees and others (19%) and has 14,900 employees.[16]

In February 2010 (2010-02), the Russian government announced that all regional airlines owned by the state through the holding company Rostechnologii would be consolidated with the national carrier Aeroflot in order to increase the airlines' financial viability.[26] The merger was completed in late November 2011 (2011-11); in a deal worth US$81 million, Aeroflot's sister company Aeroflot-Finance became the major shareholder of Vladivostok Avia, Saravia and Rossiya Airlines, and the sole shareholder of both SAT Airlines and Orenair.[27]


As of March 2011, Aeroflot operates scheduled passenger and cargo flights from its hub at Sheremetyevo International Airport to 49 countries, serving 97 destinations.[citation needed]

Codeshare agreements

As of March 2011, in addition to being part of SkyTeam, Aeroflot has codeshare agreements with the following airlines:[28]

Operating and marketing partner with free sale agreement:[28]

Operating partner with a free sale agreement:[28]

Marketing partner with a free sale agreement:[28]

Operating and marketing partner with a block sale arrangement:[28]

Marketing partner with a block sale arrangement:[28]

Operating partner with a block sale arrangement:[28]

* SkyTeam member


Aeroflot current fleet

A Sukhoi Superjet 100-95. (2011)
An Ilyushin Il-96-300 at Sheremetyevo Airport. (2011)
An Airbus A330-200 at Sheremetyevo Airport. (2011)
An Airbus A320-200 at Pulkovo Airport. (2010)
An Airbus A319-100 at Pulkovo Airport. (2008)

In 1993 Aeroflot began operating the Ilyushin Il-96-300 aircraft on the Moscow–New York route. The company now flies six aircraft of the type – about one half of all Il-96s in commercial service worldwide – and promised to buy six more if the Russian State allowed it not to pay import duty on Western-built aircraft. Industry experts claim the company is trying to terminate the deal with Ilyushin as operating the Il-96 is not cost-effective.[citation needed]

In 2006 it leased three used Boeing 767-300ER from ILFC for 5 years. The first two aircraft were delivered in November 2006 and January 2007, the third one was delivered in March 2007. The company had previously leased two Boeing 767-300ER from ILFC.[citation needed]

As of 2007, Aeroflot is in the midst of an overhaul of its fleet structure. The aging Tupolev Tu-134s used on the short- and mid-haul routes were phased out by 2008 and were replaced by the Sukhoi Superjet 100 in 2011.[citation needed]

For long-haul routes the company has ordered the Airbus A330, the Airbus A350 and the Boeing 787 Dreamliner. On 22 March 2007, Aeroflot signed an agreement with Airbus for the acquisition of 22 Airbus A350-800/900s, with deliveries starting in 2015.[29] Aeroflot and Boeing signed a deal for the 22 Dreamliners on the sidelines of Saint Petersburg International Economic Forum, with deliveries starting in 2014. Aeroflot's CEO Okulov confirmed that the existing Airbus order "would not be affected".[30]

In May 2007, Finnair has announced the sale of its last two self-owned MD-11s to Aeroflot which are thus to become part of the Russian airline cargo fleet in 2008 and 2009.[31]

Matters came to a head in September 2006 as Aeroflot's Board of Directors convened to vote on the Boeing contract. This coincided with the USA imposing sanctions on various Russian companies (including a major aircraft maker, Sukhoi) for allegedly supplying Iran in violation of the US's Iran Nonproliferation Act of 2000 and with the Russian state-owned Vneshtorgbank buying 5% of the stock in EADS, the corporation behind Airbus. The State's representatives on the board abstained from the vote and another round of lobbying ensued, with Russian news sources reporting Aeroflot's efforts to placate the State by offering to order both 22 Boeing 787s and 22 Airbus 350s, effectively doubling its long-range fleet.[32] Banker Alexander Lebedev, the man behind National Reserve Corporation, reached a deal with Boeing to prolong the deadline, using his corporation's money.[33]

Ten Airbus A330s —five A330-200s and five A330-300s— had also been ordered, scheduled to arrive on operating lease starting in late 2008. Despite these aircraft were initially aimed at providing interim capacity ahead of the arrival of both the Airbus A350s and the Boeing 787s the company had previously ordered, the type has been gradually incorporated to the fleet on a long-term basis. The first Airbus A330-200 effectively entered the fleet in late 2008, and was initially put into service on the Moscow–St. Petersburg route for testing purposes.[34]

In July 2010, Russian prime minister Vladimir Putin pressured Aeroflot to buy Russian-made aircraft for future expansion and fleet renewal.[35] On 1 September 2010, Aeroflot announced that it had plans to order a total of 126 Russian-built aircraft by 2020. The aircraft to be purchased are Irkut MS-21s, Sukhoi Superjet 100s, Antonov An-140s, and Antonov An-148s. The aircraft are to be used for fleet replacement in Aeroflot, as well as six other airlines of which Aeroflot is taking control.[36]


For most of its history, Aeroflot's fleet consisted entirely of planes built by Soviet manufacturers Antonov, Ilyushin, and Tupolev. Following the Soviet Union's dissolution and subsequent partition of the airline, Aeroflot has begun to replace its old Soviet aircraft with Western models.

As of November 2011, the Aeroflot fleet includes the following aircraft:

Aeroflot Fleet[36][37][38][39][40]
Aircraft In Fleet Orders Options Passengers Notes
B E Total
Airbus A319-100 15 1 20 96 116
Airbus A320-200 43 6 20 120 140
Airbus A321-200 18 8 28 142 170
Airbus A330-200 5 34 207 241
Airbus A330-300 8 8 34 268 302 VQ-BCQ wearing SkyTeam livery
Airbus A350-800 18[41] TBA
Airbus A350-900 4[41] TBA
Boeing 737-700 15 TBA Expected EIS: 2013;
to be leased from Rostechnology[42][43]
Boeing 737-800 25 TBA
Boeing 737-900ER 10 TBA
Boeing 767-300ER 9 30 188 218
Boeing 777-300ER 16[44] TBA Expected EIS: 2012[citation needed] Will be wearing a skyteam alliance painting.
Boeing 787-8 22[44] TBA
Ilyushin Il-96-300 6 22 260 282
Irkut MS-21 50[45] TBA
Sukhoi Superjet 100-95 3[46] 27 10 12 75 87
Total 107 210 10


According to the British newspaper The Guardian, the Aeroflot board announced on 7 May 2009 that the cargo division of the company was no longer profitable and that the company was considering its liquidation through bankruptcy. The board announced a 30% fall in freight.[47]


Aeroflot's Tu-144 at the Museum Shinsheim, Germany.
The now retired Tupolev TU-154M at Dublin Airport. (1993)
An Aeroflot Ilyushin Il-86 at Sheremetyevo Airport. (2003)
An Aeroflot Tupolev Tu-134 at Sheremetyevo International Airport. (2003)

During the Soviet era, almost all Aeroflot's airliners were built by Soviet manufacturers. During the 1940s and the early 1950s, the main aircraft was a licensed version of the Douglas DC-3. Soviet-made, modified versions of this airliner were named the PS-84 and the Lisunov Li-2. The first to be produced in the Soviet Union was completed in 1939. The Li-2 would be replaced by the Ilyushin Il-12, which entered service in 1947, and the Ilyushin Il-14, which entered service in 1954. Aeroflot also operated large numbers of the Antonov An-2 STOL biplane (first flying in 1947), in passenger and cargo roles. The An-2 remained in service until the 1980s.

On 15 September 1956 Aeroflot began to operate the Tupolev Tu-104, the USSR's first jet airliner in regular service. The first passenger-carrying flight was from Moscow to Irkutsk, Russia. The first international route was Moscow–Prague, Czech Republic (then Czechoslovakia). In 1962 Aeroflot began operating the Tupolev Tu-124, the smaller version of the Tu-104, on regional routes. These were later replaced by the Tupolev Tu-134, which entered service in 1967. Upgraded versions of the Tu-134 still make up much of the Russian regional fleet today.

The Tupolev Tu-114, originally used to transport Soviet leaders and once the world's largest commercial aircraft, came into service on 24 April 1961 on the Moscow-VnukovoKhabarovsk route.[48][49] It also served international routes, such as Moscow–Tokyo in conjunction with Japan Airlines,[50] as well as the Moscow–Havana route, the airline's longest non-stop service at that time, which started on 7 January 1963.[49][51]

The first Ilyushin Il-62 long-range four-engined airliner entered service with Aeroflot in 1967, with an inaugural flight from Moscow to Montreal on 15 September.[52] It was complemented, in 1972, by medium-range Tupolev Tu-154. This jet is the most popular Russian airliner, with more than 1,000 made. The latest modification, Tu-154M, still operates on Russian domestic routes.

On 1 November 1977 Aeroflot started to use the Tupolev Tu-144, the world's first civil supersonic aircraft, on its regular route from Moscow (Domodedovo International Airport) to Alma-Ata (now Almaty, Kazakhstan). The flights with a range of 3,260 km were performed at an altitude of 16,000- 17,000 m and at a speed of 2,300 km/h (1,400 mph). The capacity did not exceed 80 persons. This service was performed once a week until the end of service in June 1978 when it was suspended from passenger service. 55 flights were executed and 3,284 passengers were carried.

In 1980 the Ilyushin Il-86, the first Russian-made wide-body aircraft, joined the fleet, reaching a total of 11. These were phased out by the end of 2006.[53][54]

The first Western-made aircraft, the Airbus A310, was acquired in 1992.[55][56] The company also became a Boeing customer, acquiring new Boeing 767 jets in 1994. Since then Aeroflot has also operated Boeing 737s, Airbus A320s, and the cargo version of the Douglas DC-10s.

From 1998 to 2005, Aeroflot leased two Boeing 777s, using the type on routes to the USA.[57]

On 31 December 2007, Aeroflot retired the last Tupolev Tu-134 after 40 years in service; the last flight serviced the Kaliningrad–Moscow route.[58][59] Aeroflot was forced to withdraw these aircraft from service due to noise restrictions. Fourteen airplanes comprised the type's fleet by that time; they were offered for sale to the sister companies.[60]

The retirement of the last Tupolev Tu-154 occurred on 14 January 2010, after 40 years of service. The last flight the type operated was the Yekaterinburg-Moscow, taking place on 31 December 2009.[61]

Aeroflot mainline past fleet since 1954[citation needed]
Aircraft Introduced Retired Notes
Airbus A310 1992 2005
Boeing 737–300 2008 2009 cargo aircraft
Boeing 737–400 1998 2004
Boeing 767–300 1994
Boeing 777 1998 2005 aircraft leased from Boeing
McDonnell Douglas DC-10 1995 2009 cargo aircraft
McDonnell Douglas MD-11 2008 - cargo aircraft
Ilyushin Il-12 1947 1970
Ilyushin Il-14 1954 ?
Ilyushin Il-18 1958 ?
Ilyushin Il-62 1967 2002
Ilyushin Il-76 1979 2004 cargo aircraft
Ilyushin Il-86 1980 2006
Tupolev Tu-104 1956 1979
Tupolev Tu-114 1961 1976
Tupolev Tu-124 1962 1967
Tupolev Tu-134 1967 2008 replaced Tu-124
Tupolev Tu-144 1977 1978
Tupolev Tu-154 1968 2009
Tupolev Tu-204 1990 2005
Antonov An-2 1948 ?
Antonov An-10 1959 1973
Antonov An-24 1962 ?
Antonov An-124 1980 2000 cargo aircraft
Yakovlev Yak-40 1966 1995
Yakovlev Yak-42 1980 2000

Frequent flyer program

Aeroflot Bonus logo

Aeroflot uses Aeroflot Bonus as their frequent-flyer program. It has three levels:[62]

Aeroflot Bonus Levels
Level Benefits Requirements SkyTeam Status
  • No benefits on Regular Level
Travelers can start their participation in Aeroflot Bonus Programme from the age of 2 (Aeroflot Junior)  –
  • Tier Bonus Miles – 25% of the flown distance
  • Preferred Seating
  • Priority Check-In
  • Extra 10 kg baggage allowance or 1 piece on routes where piece concept systems is applicable (Only on Aeroflot regular flights)
  • Boarding with first and business class passengers
  • Priority reservation waitlisting
25,000 miles (40,000 km) or
25 flight segments during calendar year
  • Tier Bonus Miles – 50% of the flown distance
  • Priority Check-In
  • The opportunity "Comfort +" is given free of charge[63]
  • Extra 20 kg baggage allowance or 2 piece on routes where piece concept systems is applicable (Only on Aeroflot regular flights)
  • Preferred Seating
  • Lounge Access
  • Invite a traveling companion to Business Class lounges
  • Priority Airport Standby
  • High priority waitlisting (above Silver)
  • Boarding with first and business class passengers
  • Priority Baggage Handling
50,000 miles (80,000 km) or
50 flight segments during calendar year
Elite Plus

Accidents and incidents

There are records of approximately 127 accidents involving Aeroflot aircraft and 6,875 fatalities[citation needed] (plus 20 people killed on the ground), making an average of 54.13 fatalities per accident since 1953.[citation needed] Until 1991, all civil aviation and aircraft in the Soviet Union, from the An-2 to the Il-86, (as well as some military aircraft), operated with Aeroflot's name on it. Hanoi via Moscow from Heathrow tend to be the worst affected route.[64]

See also

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 This article incorporates public domain material from websites or documents of the Library of Congress Country Studies.

  1. ^ Geoffrey Thomas (22 June 2011). "Boeing orders keep coming in Paris". Air Transport World. Retrieved 1 September 2011. "Aeroflot General Director Vitaly Saveliev noted the Russian airline is "extremely interested" in the proposed 787-10..." 
  2. ^ Federal State Unitary Enterprise "State Air Traffic Management Corporation", Airline Reference, Vol. 1, Russian Federation, 20 February 2007, p. 125
  3. ^ "Queries." Aeroflot. Retrieved on 29 June 2010. "Legal / mailing address: # 10, Arbat street, 119002 Moscow" – "Обращение в авиакомпанию." – Address in Russian: "Юридический адрес / Адрес для почтовых отправлений: 119002 Москва, ул. Арбат, д. 10"
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  7. ^ "Thousands of Firms in Russia to Be Re-Named". Kommersant. 10 January 2008. Retrieved 17 January 2008. 
  8. ^ Tom Zaitsev (30 June 2011). "Russian govt to sell off Aeroflot stake". Air Transport Intelligence news. Retrieved 1 September 2011. "Vice premier and finance minister Alexei Kudrin said the 51% state-owned airline had been put on the extended list of strategically important enterprises scheduled for privatisation." 
  9. ^ David Kaminski-Morrow (22 September 2009). "Russia's Aeroflot-Don to rebrand as Donavia". Air Transport Intelligence news. Retrieved 1 September 2011. 
  10. ^ "Other News - 01/12/2007". Air Transport World. 15 January 2007. Retrieved 1 September 2011. 
  11. ^ "Aeroflot joins SkyTeam". Air Transport World. 17 April 2006. Retrieved 1 September 2011. 
  12. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z aa ab ac ad ae af ag ah ai MacDonald, Hugh (1975). Aeroflot: Soviet air transport since 1923. Putnam. ISBN 978-0370001173. 
  13. ^ Davies, R.E.G. (1992). Aeroflot: An Airline and Its Aircraft (First ed.). Rockville, Maryland: Paladwr Press. ISBN 0962648310. 
  14. ^ "Three questions to Boris Bugayev, the Minister of Civil Aviation of the USSR". Aeroflot '71. Aviareklama. 1971. p. 3. 
  15. ^ Pages 92 and 94 in Aeroflot: An Airline and its Aircraft, from Paladwr Press, Oct 1992 by R.E.G. Davies, (Curator of Air Transport at the Smithsonian), ISBN 978-0-9626483-1-1
  16. ^ a b "Directory: World Airlines". Flight International: p. 47. 3 April 2007. 
  17. ^ [1][dead link] Aeroflot official website
  18. ^ page 94 Metamophasis in "Aeroflot: An Airline and its Aircraft", Paladwr Press, Oct 1992 by R.E.G. Davies, (Curator of Air Transport at the Smithsonian), ISBN 978-0-9626483-1-1
  19. ^ "The Bullish Bear". Flight International. 8–14 April 1992. 
  20. ^ a b BBC News (29 April 2003). "No more service with a scowl". BBC News. Retrieved 1 May 2008. 
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  22. ^ Russian Aeroflot-Cargo official website[dead link]
  23. ^ Aeroflot – Press releases (24 January 2007). "Aeroflot Board Of Directors Summarised The Business Results For 2006". Department of Public Relations. Archived from the original on 28 September 2007. Retrieved 23 April 2007. 
  24. ^ Aeroflot – Press releases (14 March 2007). "Aeroflot has received one more new A320 airliner" (in Russian). Department of Public Relations. Retrieved 23 April 2007. 
  25. ^ Airfinance Journal (11 May 2007). "Aeroflot Increases Earnings". Retrieved 10 June 2007. 
  26. ^ "Russia to corporatize Rossiya air carrier, merge with Aeroflot | Business | RIA Novosti". Retrieved 12 July 2011. 
  27. ^ Polina Borodina (22 November 2011). "Russia’s Rostechnology finalizes transfer of five regional carriers to Aeroflot". Air Transport World. Retrieved 22 November 2011. 
  28. ^ a b c d e f g "Aeroflot code-sharing flights Winter 2009–2010". Aeroflot. Retrieved 7 February 2010. 
  29. ^ Aeroflot – World Media review (17 March 2007). "Aeroflot decides to buy Airbus for long-haul fleet". Financial Times. Archived from the original on 16 October 2007. Retrieved 28 April 2007. 
  30. ^ Nicholson, Alex (9 June 2007). "Boeing, Aeroflot sign 'Dreamliner' deal". USA TODAY, Associated Press. Retrieved 9 October 2008. 
  31. ^ Finnair sells two Boeing MD-11 aircraft (Finnair online) 15 May 2007
  32. ^ 21-09-2006 The Associated Press
  33. ^ "Aeroflot reserves 22 Boeing jets". International Herald Tribune. Reuters. 19 September 2006. Retrieved 14 September 2011. 
  34. ^ David Kaminski-Morrow (23 November). "PICTURE: Aeroflot tests first A330 on local route ahead of Asia entry". Air Transport Intelligence news. Retrieved 2 September 2011. 
  35. ^ "Putin pressures Aeroflot to take Russian-built aircraft". Flight International. 2010. Retrieved 18 July 2010. 
  36. ^ a b "Aeroflot plans up to 50 MS-21s as part of effort to support Russia's airliner industry". Flight International. 1 September 2010. Retrieved 1 September 2010. 
  37. ^ "Airplanes". Aeroflot – Russian Airlines. Retrieved 12 November 2011. 
  38. ^ "Aeroflot Fleet – CH Aviation". Retrieved 14 September 2011. 
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  41. ^ a b "Airbus Wins Aeroflot A350 Order, Offers Russia Role (Update2)". Bloomberg. 22 March 2007. Retrieved 17 December 2010. 
  42. ^ "Russia's Rostechnology finalizes big 737 buy". Air Transport World. 1 November 2010. Retrieved 1 September 2011. 
  43. ^ Aaron Karp (20 September 2010). "Russian Technologies inks deal for 50 737NGs to be leased to Aeroflot". Air Transport World. Retrieved 1 September 2011. 
  44. ^ a b "Boeing Orders and Deliveries by Customer". Boeing. August 2011. Retrieved 26 September 2011. 
  45. ^ "Aeroflot sends plans to buy local aircraft to government | Business | RIA Novosti". 19 August 2010. Retrieved 12 July 2011. 
  46. ^ "Aeroflot to modernize subsidiaries’ fleet with A320s, SSJ100s". Air Transport World. 14 November 2011. Retrieved 14 November 2011. "This week the carrier received its third aircraft." 
  47. ^ [2] The guardian, Russia's Aeroflot board recommends 2008 dividends
  48. ^ "Commercial Aircraft of the World... – Tu-114" (PDF). Flight International: 936. 26 November 1964. Retrieved 19 September 2011. 
  49. ^ a b "World Airline Survey... – Aeroflot" (PDF). Flight International: 492. 2 April 1964. Retrieved 18 September 2011. 
  50. ^ "JAL EXPANDS" (PDF). Flight International: 81. 18 January 1968. Retrieved 18 September 2011. "JAL hope to operate their own jet aircraft on the Tokyo-Moscow service, which is at present operated with Aeroflot aircraft (Tu-114) and flight crews." 
  51. ^ "AIR COMMERCE... – Tu-114 Moscow — Havana" (PDF). Flight International: 134. 24 January 1963. Retrieved 19 September 2011. "Aerofiot are now operating regular services, claimed to be the longest nonstop in the world, between Havana and Moscow, a distance of 6,800 miles." 
  52. ^ John Pike. "Ilyushin Il-62 Classic". Retrieved 12 July 2011. 
  53. ^ Brian Straus (26 October 2006). "Aeroflot fleet renewal continues with end of IL-86s, lease of A321s". Air Transport World. Retrieved 1 September 2011. 
  54. ^ ""Аэрофлот" списал Ил-86. "Аэрофлот" отказался от эксплуатации первого отечественного широкофюзеляжного самолета Ил-86". Retrieved 19 September 2008. 
  55. ^ Aeroflot orders five Airbus A310-300 PR Newswire 24 January 1990
  56. ^ "Airbus A310 – Aeroflot". widebodyaircraft.n. Retrieved 7 Spetermber 2010. 
  57. ^ "Aeroflot Takes to the Skies with Russia's First Boeing 777" (Press release). Boeing. 23 January 1998. Retrieved 7 Septermber 2010. 
  58. ^ "Other News - 01/03/2008". Air Transport World. 4 January 2008. Retrieved 1 September 2011. 
  59. ^ "Other News - 02/16/2007". Air Transport World. 19 February 2007. Retrieved 1 September 2011. "The Tu-134 served the carrier for approximately 40 years." 
  60. ^ David Kaminski-Morrow (4 January 2008). "Aeroflot ends mainline Tu-134 operations after 40 years". Retrieved 2 September 2011. 
  61. ^ "Other News - 01/14/2010". Air Transport World. 15 January 2010. Retrieved 1 September 2011. "Aeroflot announced the retirement of its last Tu-154. The aircraft flew for the final time on Dec. 31 from Yekaterinburg to Moscow Sheremetyevo, according to RIA Novosti, and will be replaced with an A320." 
  62. ^ Aeroflot Bonus levels Aeroflot Bonus web-site
  63. ^ "Comfort Plus service". Aeroflot. Retrieved 12 July 2011. 
  64. ^ "Aviation Safety Network". 28 November 2004. Retrieved 12 July 2011. 


  • Davies, R.E.G. (1992). Aeroflot: An Airline and Its Aircraft (First ed.). Rockville, Maryland: Paladwr Press. ISBN 0962648310. 
  • MacDonald, Hugh (1975). Aeroflot: Soviet air transport since 1923. Putnam. ISBN 0370001176. 

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