The trip described in this review was a charter flight (#NN-5922) from Antalya to Moscow, operated by Russian airline company VIM Avia (aka VIM Airlines), at the end of May 2011. The charter flight was booked by tour operator Anex Tour. The aircraft used for the trip was a Boeing 757-200, tail number RA-73010.
Departure from Antalya
The flight departed from Terminal 1 of the Antalya Airport.
The airport is pretty spacious. The check-in facilities can handle a large volume of passengers.
Everything seemed well-coordinated. There were no lines at any point in the check-in and security screening process.
Our plane is ready to go.
Boarding for the VIM Avia flight to Moscow had already begun.
The last passengers boarded only 15 minutes before the scheduled departure time. Nonetheless, takeoff went as planned. Passengers are taking their seats.
Upon leaving Antalya we got a lovely view of the city. The plane initially took off bearing south, then turned around and proceeded northward.
VIM Airlines uses planes configured with only one class of seats – economy class.
The seats have blue fabric upholstery, folding tray tables and quite good leg room.
Above every passenger there is an individual fan vent, reading light and a button to request the flight attendant.
The plane is equipped with an entertainment system – there are several TV screens located over the aisle.
Presumably, passengers used to be able to watch movies and listen to music, judging by the control panels built into the armrests.
We had no such luck on this flight. The screens were used only to display flight information.
The cabin features spacious storage shelves for carry-on luggage.
The VIM Avia’s Boeing-757 is far from new. There were small signs of wear and tear everywhere, if you knew where to look: some of the upholstery is patched, the paneling on the walls is cracking, etc.
Nevertheless, I wouldn’t describe the plane as conspicuously old and decrepit. Great care had obviously been taken maintaining the cabin. This aircraft had previously been operated by a German airline, as can be deduced by German labels on the TV screens and on the backs of the seats.
The restrooms weren’t pristine and looked pretty aged, but all-in-all, they were satisfactory.
In-flight service with VIM Avia was pretty good, as is characteristic of a “traditional” airline company. Passengers were provided with fresh newspapers (Vecherniaya Moskva - Evening Moscow) and every seat had a copy of the airline’s thick official magazine. Before takeoff, flight attendants distributed candy, and later, after takeoff, blankets and pillows.
During the flight the crew served cold cuts, bread and salad, with tea or coffee, and an assortment of cold drinks. You could also purchase various duty-free items. The flight attendants did a good job -- they were very professional and attentive to the needs of the passengers.
Arrival in Domodedovo
In Domodedovo International Airport the plane parked a fair distance away from the terminal, to which the passengers were transported by bus. On the up side, the passengers disembarked from two boarding ramps (one at the front of the plane and one at the back), which made everything go much faster.
Collecting luggage and passport control didn’t take very long and within half an hour we were already in the arrivals area.