Rossiya Airlines to commence new Vladivostok to Shanghai flights using Superjets

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Russian carrier Rossiya Airlines has announced plans to commence international flights between Vladivostok and Shanghai, according to a report published by the Russian Interfax news agency. The new route will be operated three times each week by the St Petersburg-based carrier using domestically built Sukhoi Superjet SSJ-100 aircraft.

Flights on the 1,018-mile (1,628km) route are expected to take around three hours and 30 minutes. Rossiya Airlines already operates regular flights from Vladivostok to Harbin in China.

Flights between Vladivostok (VVO) and Shanghai (PVG) were suspended after the outbreak of COVID-19. The new Rossiya flights will go up against the twice-weekly flights on the same route operated by Siberia-based S7 Airlines, which has operated its flights since April 2024. Interestingly, Chinese-based carrier Juneyao Airlines canceled the launch of its own direct flights between Shanghai and Vladivostok earlier in 2024 due to low ticket sales.

Additionally, Aurora Airlines has just announced it will fly from Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk to Beijing from June 11, 2024.

Rossiya celebrates its 90th anniversary in May 2024 and according to the carrier’s website, operates a fleet of 136 aircraft to destinations throughout the Russian Federation as well as internationally to Istanbul and Antalya (Turkey), Dubai, Sharm el Sheik (Egypt), Colombo (Sri Lanka), Harbin (China), plus Havana and Varadero (Cuba).

Having seen its international route network slashed by the sanctions imposed on Russian airlines following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in February 2022, Rossiya has been looking for other suitable routes for its aircraft fleet. The new service to Shanghai increases its cross-border reach just a little, boosted by Russia’s enhanced diplomatic relationship with China in recent weeks.

Karasev Viktor / Shutterstock

According to ch-aviation, the latest data on Rossiya Airlines shows that the carrier’s fleet comprises a wide range of Western and Russian-built aircraft types including Airbus A319 (18), A320 (8), Boeing 737-800 (12), 737-900ER (2), 747-400 (9), 777-300 (5), 777-300ER (5), and SSJ-100 Superjet (77). Varying numbers of the Western-built fleet are described as ‘inactive’, largely due to a general shortage of Western-built spares in the country due to the sanctions. 

Vladivostok Airport can accept any type of aircraft. The passenger terminal is designed to serve 3.5 million passengers per year. According to open access sources, the route network from the airport includes 35 destinations serviced by 15 Russian and foreign airlines. The airport served 763,000 passengers between January and April 2024, reportedly representing an increase of 18% over the same period in 2023.

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