Airways from the UK have a tough relationship with Russia. They love flying over the world’s greatest nation, as a result of it offers the quickest route between the UK and the Far East. 

Virgin Atlantic’s flight 251 from Shanghai to Heathrow, for instance, usually spends the majority of its journey time flying over Russia: crossing from Estonia, flying simply south of St Petersburg and properly north of Moscow, traversing the Urals and spending an excellent 4 hours overflying Siberia earlier than clipping the southwest finish of Lake Baikal and coming into Mongolian airspace.

However getting cash from flying to Russia itself has at all times been problematic. 

We’ll inform you what’s true. You’ll be able to type your personal view.
From
15p
€0.18
$0.18
USD 0.27
a day, extra exclusives, evaluation and extras.
Subscribe now

Virgin Atlantic have to be secretly glad it was crushed by easyJet in a race for slots to Moscow in 2012. Thirty years in the past, Sir Richard Branson’s airline briefly flew from Gatwick to the Russian capital en path to Tokyo,  however deserted the refuelling cease when plane know-how improved. When slots to Moscow have been made accessible due to British Airways’ takeover of BMI, Virgin bid for the route however misplaced out to easyJet. 

After two sad and unprofitable years, easyJet scrapped its Gatwick-Moscow route – citing the weak spot of the Russian economic system and the tightening of the visa approval course of. It additionally misplaced a fortune between Manchester and Moscow.

leftCreated with Sketch.
rightCreated with Sketch.

1/10

‘Roofers’ like Grigory Shukhov is aware of climbing might be harmful, however to this point, not one of the Rudex workforce members have been injured of their adventures

Reuters

2/10

Shukhov stands on a parapet of a rooftop within the Russian capital

Reuters

3/10

Vad Him of Rudex enjoys the fun of leaping from roof-to-roof

Reuters

4/10

Yevgeny Halkechev rests after a protracted day of thrill-seeking

Reuters

5/10

Rudex workforce members train warning once they climb

Reuters

6/10

Members of the climbing workforce typically {photograph} their adventures

Reuters

7/10

Ostankino TV tower stands tall, seen from a roof within the capital metropolis

Reuters

8/10

Georgy Lanchevskiy (left) and Konstantin Drykin take a look at rooftop graffiti

Reuters

9/10

The group typically takes dangerous pictures, making jumps from already nice heights

Reuters

10/10

The group typically takes pictures of websites in want of ‘city renewal’

Reuters

1/10

‘Roofers’ like Grigory Shukhov is aware of climbing might be harmful, however to this point, not one of the Rudex workforce members have been injured of their adventures

Reuters

2/10

Shukhov stands on a parapet of a rooftop within the Russian capital

Reuters

3/10

Vad Him of Rudex enjoys the fun of leaping from roof-to-roof

Reuters

4/10

Yevgeny Halkechev rests after a protracted day of thrill-seeking

Reuters

5/10

Rudex workforce members train warning once they climb

Reuters

6/10

Members of the climbing workforce typically {photograph} their adventures

Reuters

7/10

Ostankino TV tower stands tall, seen from a roof within the capital metropolis

Reuters

8/10

Georgy Lanchevskiy (left) and Konstantin Drykin take a look at rooftop graffiti

Reuters

9/10

The group typically takes dangerous pictures, making jumps from already nice heights

Reuters

10/10

The group typically takes pictures of websites in want of ‘city renewal’

Reuters

Crimson tape for President Putin’s high-security federation has not change into any simpler. Anybody aged 12 or over making use of for a visa in Britain should have their fingerprints scanned in London, Manchester or Edinburgh. And the Russian economic system is hardly hovering: the rouble is one among comparatively few currencies that’s weaker in opposition to sterling than it was a yr in the past.

British Airways has introduced it’ll abandon the Heathrow-St Petersburg route on Three October.

But Owain Jones, managing director of Wizz Air UK, is so assured that there’s cash to be made between the UK and Russia that he’s launching not one however two routes from Luton airport on 1 October.

Learn extra

From that date, Wizz will whizz to Moscow’s Vnukovo airport each afternoon, and go in a single day to St Petersburg. Introductory fares are available at £26 one-way, although I think about that Mr Jones is aiming for common fares of about thrice that quantity.

I tracked down the Wizz boss in Crete on Friday afternoon, and known as to ask why he thought he might succeed whereas earlier makes an attempt had failed.

The reply, he says, is that loads of passengers wish to fly between the largest cities in jap Europe (Moscow and St Petersburg) and the biggest in western Europe (London).

“There are important site visitors flows that go to London however which use oblique routes,” he says. In different phrases: passengers don’t just like the look of nonstop fares on Aeroflot and British Airways connecting the Russian capital with Heathrow (usually £250-£300 return) and are subsequently connecting in Helsinki, Munich or Vienna to economize.

“Wizz is a particularly rational airline,” Mr Jones advised me earlier than heading again to the seaside.

“We’re not going to begin flying except we’re certain we’ll make a revenue.”

The airline believes it could improve the variety of travellers on the route, too: “We’re in a market-stimulation sport,” says the Wizz boss.

If you’re tempted, I like to recommend you type out the difficult and costly purple tape before you purchase a flight. I nonetheless have the emails from cheesed-off easyJet passengers in 2013, who purchased discount flights to Russia however couldn’t face paying a fortune to acquire a visa. Purchaser beware.