Eastern Russia-Alaska Air Service To Resume In Summer

Air passenger and cargo service between the Far Eastern Russian city of Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky and Anchorage, Alaska, will resume in summer after a gap of seven years.

Russia's Yakutia Airlines had early this month announced that final approval had been received from the U.S. and Russian governments to operate direct flights in this route, where a new demand for convenient air transportation services emerged.

A Boeing 737-700 aircraft will begin weekly service from July 12, and will run every Thursday through September 13, Russian media quoted Minister of Investments and Business Development of the Kamchatka Territory Oksana Gerasimova as saying on Tuesday.

Tickets are available at most global distribution systems, the AirRussia US sales network, Yakutia Airlines' representative in the U.S., and at InterPacific Aviation and Marketing offices in the United States.

The price of a return ticket for the approximately 4.5 hours-long flight starts at 36,800 rubles ($1,147).

The new flights are expected to draw sports fishermen and adventure travelers to Kamchatka Peninsula, a haven for bear hunting and salmon fishing.

Local authorities estimate about 2,500 individual tours per season to this isolated region, renowned for its pristine rivers, volcanoes, geysers, rich native culture and unique wildlife. Travelers will be able to connect at Petropavlovsk to Vladivostok, Khabarovsk, Yakutsk, and other destinations across Russia.

Kamchatka residents will also benefit from the resumption of direct flights to Alaska as a growing number of local students become enrolled at U.S. high schools and universities, and the regional business exchanges are on the rise.

Direct flights from eastern Russia to Alaska, the largest U.S. state, stopped in 2005 as number of passengers dwindled. Situated in the northwest extremity of the North American continent, Alaska was purchased from Russia in the 19th century.

Based in Yakutsk, Yakutia Airlines operates domestic passenger services in Russia and within the CIS, as well as charters to destinations in Europe and Asia from its hubs at Yakutsk Airport and Moscow's Vnukovo Airport.

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