AirRussia.US: Direct Flights between Alaska and The Russian Far East
Kamchatka
Photo credits (left to right, top to bottom): Svetlana Koltsova, Elena Safonova, Galina Davidova, 
Gary Christensen, Slava Stepanov. 
ALASKA - RUSSIAN FAR EAST SERVICE TO BE SUSPENDED FOR 2019 

Russia's Federal Air Transport Agency (Rosaviatsia) announced Monday that it is revoking Yakutia Airlines' authorization to operate on international routes effective November 5, 2018. The ban prevents the airline from operating on the Anchorage - Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky route. Additionally, the Yakutsk airport will be undergoing runway repairs for the duration of the 2019 summer construction season, and fully-laden Boeing 737-800 aircraft - such as those chartered by IPAM for the Alaska-Kamchatka service - will be prohibited from operating there. We must therefore announce, with deep regret, that the Alaska-Russian Far East Service that IPAM/AirRussia established in partnership with Yakutia Airlines will not operate in the summer of 2019. IPAM/AirRussia has been unable to reach an agreement with other qualified carriers to perform the service.

IPAM/AirRussia is very honored to have provided reliable service on the Kamchatka-Alaska route for eight seasons, longer than any other operator; for seven seasons we partnered with Yakutia Airlines (2012-2018) and for one season with Vladivostok Air (2008). Yakutia Airlines has been a reliable partner dedicated to customer service, on-time operations and the safety of our passengers. Yakutia was uniquely qualified to perform the service to Alaska thanks to its fleet of ETOPS-certified (Extended-range Twin-engine Operational Performance Standards) aircraft based out of the city of Yakutsk in Eastern Russia. The airline has always operated in strict compliance with rigorous FAA, DOT and TSA regulations.

IPAM/AirRussia looks forward to Yakutia Airlines resolving the concerns of Russia's aviation authorities. We will continue to seek opportunities to resume the service and support travel between the Russian Far East and the US West Coast.

Kamchatka
Photo: Chris Burkard
Thank you!

The Alaska-Russian Far East Service operated by IPAM/AirRussia would not have been possible without the support and enthusiasm of several teams of dedicated professionals. Outfitters such as The Fly Shop and The Best of Kamchatka were pioneers in bringing travelers to this region, and we are grateful for their long-term support. Their professionalism is renowned throughout the sportsfishing industry. Travel agents Protravel and Red Star Travel have been with us since day one; they are experts in travel to Eastern Russia and have guided many a traveler though the often intimidating process of securing a Russian visa and arranging travel. We are indebted to the tour operators and cruise lines with the spirit and courage to arrange expeditions and tours to Eastern Russia, where the landscape is awe-inspiring but the tourism infrastructure is still in the developmental stages: Betchart Expeditions, Explore Kamchatka, Eastlink, MIR Corporation, Kamchatintour, Ouzel Expeditions, and 56th Parallel, among others. Visit Anchorage, Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport, the Russian-American Pacific Partnership, Explore Kamchatka/City Pages publishing house, and the Kamchatka Regional Tourism Office have provided invaluable support in our efforts to promote tourism and air travel between Eastern Russia and Alaska. We encourage travelers to work with and support these wonderful organizations as they plan their travels to Eastern Russia and Alaska.

And we could not have operated and maintained this service without the excellent technical support of Anchorage-based ground handler Pegasus Aviation, fueler International Aviation Services and caterer Airline Support, as well as Yakutia Airlines' counterparts in Petropavlovsk-Kamchatskiy and Yakutsk.

Above all, we are grateful to the thousands of travelers who entrusted us with their transportation over the years. They have been fishermen and scientists, families and tourists, businessmen and students. Together they have been building connections between the region which we are confident will endure despite any interruptions in transportation. Thanks to them, the route is more popular than ever. Yakutia Airlines carried more passengers in 2018 than ever before, and 2019 was destined to set new records. We look forward to staying in touch with you, and hope to see you on board in the future. 

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