Yekaterinburg, Sverdlovsk Oblast, based Ural Airlines yesterday launched it’s first-ever flight from Moscow’s Domodedovo Airport (DME) to London Stansted Airport (STN).
Originally the plan was to operate a service from Moscow Zhukovsky International Airport (ZIA) located in Moscow Oblast, 36 kilometers southeast of central Moscow. However, this was changed to operate out of Moscow’s more popular Domodedovo Airport (DME).
Before the announcement that Ural Airlines was switching airports for it’s first-ever London flights, it was assumed that is would deploy its two new A321neos on the flagship route.
We now know that is not the case and that Ural Airlines will operate a 156-seat Airbus A320 on the prized Russia to the United Kingdom route.
Only two Russian airlines are allowed to fly to the United Kingdom
Ural Airlines is one of Russia’s fastest-growing airlines with a fleet of 46 all-Airbus aircraft serving 200 destinations.
Under a bilateral agreement between the Russia Federation and the United Kingdom, only two airlines from each country are allowed to operate flights between Russia and the U.K.
Ural Airlines now joins British Airways, Aeroflot and Wizz Air on what has in the past proved to be a difficult route to make money on, due to Russia’s strict visa rules.
Unlike British Airways and Aeroflot who charge a premium for seats on their London-Moscow flights, Ural Airlines is copying Wizz Air’s approach by offering tickets starting at just £23 ($30) each way.
The difference between the two is that while Wizz Air only offers economy class seating Ural Airlines will be trying to poach British Airways and Aeroflot customers by offering 12 business class seats.
Ural Airlines is the first airline to fly from Moscow to Stansted
While speaking about the new route in a Ural Airlines press release London Stansted’s Chief Commercial Officer, Aboudy Nasser said:
“We’re delighted to welcome Ural Airlines to London Stansted, another new airline recognizing the fantastic opportunity the airport provides to connect with one of the UK’s most successful and fastest-growing regions, and another destination to add to our already extensive route network.
“This exciting new service will provide convenient and cost-effective direct access to Moscow from London Stansted for the very first time. I’m sure the route will prove to be very popular with business passengers, especially from across north and east London and the vibrant east of England, looking to access the Russian capital as well as leisure passengers keen to explore the amazing history and sights of this world-famous city.”
In reply to Aboudy Nasser’s comments about the new route, Ural Airlines Chief Commercial Officer Kirill Skuratov said:
“Ural Airlines is very excited to be coming to London Stansted and providing great value flights four times a week to the great city of Moscow.
“We look forward to working with Stansted Airport to make this new partnership a great success and we hope the route proves popular with passengers and leads to further growth and more opportunities in the future.”
Stansted is London’s fastest-growing airport
When it comes to low-cost airlines, London Stansted is the busiest in the capital with 200 short-haul destinations across 40 countries serving 28 million passengers a year.
Only Munich International Airport (MUC) in Germany surpasses Stansted when it comes to short-haul travel within Europe.
Flying through Stansted also allows passengers the opportunity to connect with Emirates and take advantage of the Gulf carrier’s impressive hub at Dubai International Airport (DXB).
As London’s fourth-largest airport Stansted can handle 43 million passengers per year and is expected to be London’s fastest-growing airport over the next ten years.
Pivotal to Stansted’s growth is the fact that 50% of all people using the Essex Airport all arrive using public transport with direct trains to central London and Cambridge.
Do you think that Ural Airlines can make it’s Moscow to London flight work? Please let us know in the comments.