RUSSIA. Moscow’s Zhukovsky International Airport and airline Pegas Fly have introduced a new flight route to Jinan, China. The move is part of a large-scale programme to support Chinese tourism in Russia. “Zhukovsky International Airport can become a bridge between China and Russia,” the airport company said.

The new route is also good news for the airport’s duty free retailer, a Heinemann partnership.

Zhukovsky International is Moscow’s fourth international airport, alongside Sheremetyevo, Vnukovo and Domodedovo. The first flight from Jinan landed at Zhukovsky International on 11 December, with 289 passengers onboard. From December to March two flights per week to Jinan will operate, on Thursdays and Sundays.

The partnership between Pegas Fly and Zhukovsky International Airport began in July, when a flight to Xian was launched

By the end of spring 2018, Pegas Fly will introduce new routes to eight cities in China. These include: Guangzhou, Xian, Chengdu, Hangzhou, Nanjing, Xinzheng, Ningbo and Taiyuan. The total frequency of flights will be over ten per week, with a view to increasing them in the future.

Zhukovsky is Russia’s newest international airport

Ramport Aero (Zhukovsky Airport’s management company) CEO Tomas Vaisvila said: “The cooperation of the airport with Pegas Fly began in July 2017 with a flight to China. Flights on the Zhukovsky-Xian route were almost 100% full. This fully demonstrated the high level of demand for air communication between China and Russia.

Ramport Aero CEO Tomas Vaisvila said the new route demonstrates “a big step forward” in the way to creating an air bridge between Russia and China

“Negotiations with representatives of China’s tour operators revealed their interest in significantly expanding this programme. Today we are making a big step forward on the way to creating an air bridge between Russia and China in Zhukovsky. I hope that our efforts will contribute to the development of cultural and economic ties between the two countries.”

Ramport Aero said it expects Zhukovsky Airport’s airline partners to participate in the expansion of the programme, offering tourists the opportunity to visit several cities in Russia and Europe.