Russia’s new Gagarin International Airport (GSV) in Saratov welcomed its first flight today when a Pobeda Airlines jet touched down carrying politicians and VIPs from Moscow.
Russian State Duma Speaker Vyacheslav Volodin, Deputy Transport Minister Alexander Yurchik, and Federal Air Transport Agency head Alexander Neradko and the owner of the airport’s operating company Viktor Vekselberg all arrived on the flight.
Named after the first human being to venture into outer space, Cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin, the new airport is located near the city of Saratov in Russia’s southeast on the bank of the Volga River.
Flights from Gagarin International Airport to Moscow start on Tuesday
Built to replace Saratov Tsentralny Airport because expansion was impossible, Gagarin International Airport is the latest in a series of new airports and expansions that have been taking place across Russia.
Regularly scheduled flights to Gagarin International Airport (GSV) are expected to begin service on August 20th, 2019.
The first passenger jet to arrive today was a Pobeda Airlines Boeing 737-800 which will operate flights from Saratov to Vnukovo International Airport (VKO) commencing next Tuesday the 20th of August, 2019.
The first passenger flight between Gagarin International Airport (GSV) and Vnukovo International Airport (VKO) flight number DP468 is scheduled for departure at 09:00 arriving in Moscow 1hr 30mins later.
Ticket prices start at 1,799 roubles, which is just over $27, for a one-way ticket
Who is Pobeda Airlines?
Pobeda Airlines is the low cost arm of Russian national flag carrier Aeroflot. It’s a similar set up to the way Lufthansa operates Eurowings.
Claiming to boast the youngest fleet of any Russian airline, Pobeda Airlines has a fleet of 30 Boeing 737-800s and has 20 Boeing 737 MAX 8s on the order books.
Based out of Moscow’s Vnukovo International Airport, with secondary bases in Anapa, and Sochi, Pobeda Airlines fly mostly domestic routes within Russia and the former Soviet Union.
Similar to Irish low-cost airline Ryanair, Pobeda, which means “victory” in Russian, utilizes secondary airports in Western Europe, flying to places like Eindhoven rather than Amsterdam.
While calling themselves a low-cost carrier, flight reviewers have said they are more like an ultra-low-cost airline.
What is it like to fly with Pobeda Airlines?
While reviewing a 3hr 30min flight from Moscow Vnukovo (VKO) to Palermo (PMO) in Sicily Allplane.tv called Pobeda Airlines an ultra-low-cost-airline (ULCC) that has taken all the niceties out of the passenger experience.
For all of you who thought that flying out with the UK’s standard 56x45x25 carry-on, you can forget about using it on Pobeda Airlines. They only allow a tiny 36x30x27 bag more akin to a lady’s handbag than carry-on luggage.
Don’t be under the illusion that if you pay extra you will be able to take it inside the cabin as that’s just not going to happen with Pobeda’s strict rules. Despite many flights to Western Europe being quite long, Pobeda Airlines has a policy of no food onboard the aircraft. Unlike Ryanair and easyJet, you cannot buy anything to eat either.
On the plus side all the aircraft are new and quite comfortable, so just remember to grab a bite to eat before leaving the airport. If you have flown on Pobeda Airlines we would love to hear your thoughts on Russia’s low-cost airline.