Flights to Russia & Cheap Airlines

Author: Dimitry Paranyushkin (on 21 Jun 2013)
Russia is not as far away as it seems. It's only a 2-hour flight from Berlin and a bit more than 3 hours from London. The price of a return ticket from most European cities to Moscow is somewhere between €200 to €400. There are also many flights daily from major US cities, and you can get a return flight to Moscow from New York for about $450-$700 normally, depending on the season and how far ahead you book.

There are also several budget airlines that fly to Russia from major European cities. For example, since March 2013 EasyJet is flying from UK to Moscow for about $100 return (if you get lucky), which is a great deal. 
You could also use budget flights to Baltic states and then take a train or a bus to Russia. If you go for one of these options, you'll be able to make it to Russia for about €60 one way. More on that in our Budget Travel section. 

If you're traveling in Russia itself, sometimes taking a flight may be cheaper and certainly faster than taking a train. For example, a one way flight from Moscow to Irkutsk (Baikal lake) costs the same as 2nd class train. The difference is that the flight takes 6 hours, and the train takes 4 days (although of course you're losing out on the unique Trans-Siberian experience).

Finally, Russia is a good stopover point if you're traveling to far-out Asian destinations. There are some cheaper flights to Bangkok ($600 return) and to Dehli ($600 return) for example.




Recommended Airlines

Always check Aeroflot first. We're not saying it to boost their sales, it's just that they still often have the lowest prices of all the international carriers and their service is actually quite good. For flights from the US, Delta offers quite good deals, but their service is said to be quite horrible. For flights from UK, British Airways offers good deals sometimes and they fly to the better Domodedovo airport (normally most carriers fly to Sheremetyevo, which was revamped last year but is still a bit lousy). Also, check out Transaero (this Russian carrier has great offers to London sometimes). For flights from Germany, check German Wings, Gexx, and Air Berlin out as they have cheaper direct flights than anyone else. German Wings is great for another reason is that they have the cheapest flights and arrive to Vnukovo airport in Moscow, which is quite good. If you're flying from Holland or North-East France, you might want to take a train to Koelln and catch a German Wings flight from there – will be cheaper. If you're flying from elsewhere, check Aeroflot, your national carrier (Australians say Quantas has great rates), and then also some budget options listed in our Budget Travel guide (especially if you're flying from Italy or Norway – there's lots of budget airlines flying to Russia from there).
Sibir Airlines S7 Flight in Russia / photo by cust@FlickR
Sibir Airlines S7 Flight in Russia / photo by cust@FlickR

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For domestic flights within the country, Aeroflot is still one of the best ones and they have competitive prices. Also recommended is Sibir Airlines (S7) – they have almost as good network, but lower prices and slightly worse service (besides there are rumors of them going bankrupt soon). The first Russian no-frills airline SkyExpress set up by the local oligarchs has cheap flights between Moscow and St. Petersburg, Sochi and other destinations, but they are notorious for delaying their flights, so beware. Transaero is also good, but their network is not as good as Aeroflot's or Sibir's. Read more about these airlines and domestic air travel in our guide to the Russian airlines.


Aeroflot Russian Airlines
Usually cheapest tickets to/from Russia. Good service (despite what many people think), quite safe (there’s a rumour that many pilots are former military, so if they managed in Afghanistan…), and a wide selection of food (must be prebooked).
Internet: (USA), (UK), (Russia).
Contacts: +1 (888)686-4949 (Washington, USA), +44 (0) 20 7 355-2233 (London, UK), +7 (095) 753-5555 (24 hours, Moscow, Russia)
Offices: Moscow Russia: Petrovka St., 20/1 (metro Teatralnaya, Okhotny Ryad) | London UK: 70, Picaddilly St.


Sibir Airlines
Second most important in Russia, after Aeroflot. Based in Novosibirsk. Strives to provide good service for less money than Aeroflot. Has great offers for domestic flights in Russia, as well as some international flights, especially to Germany and Asia (China, Korea, Mongolia).
Internet: (Russian, English, German)
Contacts: +7 (095) 777-9999 (Moscow, Russia), +7 (3832) 59-90-90 (24 hours, Novosibirsk, Russia), +44 (0)870 60 80 737 (UK), +86 10 651-207-09 (China)
Offices: Moscow, Russia: 1st Tverskaya-Yamskaya str., 15 (metro «Belorusskaya»)
Working hours: 10:00 - 20:00, Domodedovo Airport (24h) , Paveletsky Railway Station (10.00-21.00)


Not very good service, however sometimes kicks off very low prices for some international flights (to UK and Germany) and domestic flights (to Kamchatka).
Internet: (Russian only)
Contacts: +7 (095) 241-76-76 (Moscow, Russia)


German Wings
Has great offers for flights to/from Moscow and St Petersburg to major German cities, especially for the Germany to Russia leg of the journey (not the other way round – has to do something with some stupid regulation of the Russian aviation authorities). The service is OK for a no-frills airline and they are owned by Lufthansa. 
Contacts: +44 871 702 9983

For Students - STA Travel Offices in Russia
These offer great deals for people under 26, and if you miss your flight or exchange a ticket, you can get a new one for a very small fee. So they are highly recommended. Besides, they have offices in all major Russian cities, so if you need an agent and even if you're not a student or above 26, go there, because probably you'll get the most travel-friendly service than anywhere else.

Moscow: Pososhok - Address: Komsomolsky Prospekt, #13 (metro: Park Kultury or Frunzenskaya); Phone: +7 495 234-8000
St. Petersburg: Infinity - Address: Bolshaya Morskaya St., #39 (hotel Astoria) | Phone: +7 812 313-5085
Student STA travel agency.
Offices in Moscow, St. Petersburg, Ekaterinburg, Kazan, Krasnodar, Nizhnevartovsk, Nizhny Novgorod, Novosibirsk, Omsk, Rostov-na-Donu, Toliatti, Tumen, Ufa, Volgograd.
Moscow phone: +7 495 797-9555, email:
Internet: (Russian)





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