Russia’s First Budget Airline

The budget airline trend which has swept through Europe in the last few years has finally reached Russia.

On Monday, January 29, SkyExpress launched Russia’s budget airline category with an $18 flight from Moscow’s Vnukovo airport to the city of Sochi on the Black Sea.

Affordable transportation has always been a goal of Russia, the largest country in the world. Without it, the country would grind to a halt. “When the trains stop,” Lenin once said, “that’s it.”

Unfortunately, “affordable transportation” usually means 3-4 days on a train. Personally, I love the trains. But the last few times I’ve been to Russia I simply didn’t have the luxury of such time and purchased airline tickets instead. Russian domestic flights are still somewhat affordable for tourists (the Sochi flight is normally $105 on Aeroflot) but not so much for the average Russian.

A budget plane option will be a godsend to Russians tired of traveling long distances on trains. Let’s just hope that “budget” doesn’t’ mean cutting too many corners. Russia already has one of the worst airliner safety records in the developed world.