In Summer 2012, Yamal Airlines began offering regular flights between Moscow and Krasnoyarsk. Since I was flying from Krasnoyarsk to Moscow anyway, I decided to give this exotic regional airline a try.
The airline scheduled its new flight, YC-392, to depart Krasnoyarsk at 6:35 AM, which made it the earliest flight headed to Moscow, which would no doubt be convenient for some travelers.
Departure was from Krasnoyarsk Yemelyanovo Airport.
The terminal for domestic flights in Yemelyanovo Airport isn't very large by modern standards, built in the 1980s and remaining largely unchanged since then.
Unremarkable check-in stands:
The entrance to the secure area:
The waiting area, perpetually over-crowded in the mornings:
Our newly-arrived plane taxies through the morning mist onto the apron.
Usually, Yamal Airlines uses an Airbus A320 for its Krasnoyarsk-Moscow flight, and that model of plane was even listed in the flight schedule. However, the flight actually took place aboard a Boeing 737-400, tail number VQ-BIK. The plane was made in 1997.
The airliner is prepared for departure:
Departure was exactly on schedule. Boarding was done by shuttle and ramp.
The Boeing 737-400's cabin has a two-class arrangement: 8 business-class seats, separated from economy class by a divider.
The seats in business, as well as economy class, were pretty simple. The upholstery was blue fabric. All in all, the cabin was clean and in fairly good shape for its age, but the appearance of the seats gave it something of a vintage feel.
I didn't get a good chance to photograph business class. The flight attendants were unusually aggressive towards photographers and I just barely escaped being reported to security. With three airline representatives breathing down my neck and giving me the evil eye, I decided not to risk it.
The elbow rests contained a control panel for the audio. No earphones, however, were supplied. The airline doesn't seem overly concerned with providing its passengers with such frivolous luxuries.
Each seat had a reading light and AC vent.
The restroom. All in all quite satisfactory, no complaints.
In 2012 Yamal Airlines celebrated its 15th anniversary. I learned this from the disposable covers on the headrests. The airline is evidently very proud of this fact.
The crew at work:
In-flight service consisted of the following:
- candy was provided before takeoff
- drinks (pre-packaged juice or water)
- a hot meal (a choice of chicken or beef)
- flight magazines
- a blanket (provided on request)
There were two flight magazines. One was the official magazine of the airline called "Arctic Wings magazine", and the second was some sort of local publication called Yamal Meridian. It was pretty exotic to read news from Salekhard while flying from Krasnoyarsk to Moscow.
In Moscow all Yamal flights land in Domodedovo Airport. Arrival time was on schedule at 7:45 AM.
Our airliner after the passengers have disembarked:
A quick walk through the arrival area, a stop by the baggage belts and we're in Moscow!
In all, Yamal Airlines was about what I expected, and I wasn't expecting anything out of the ordinary. This isn't the type of carrier that tries to impress its passengers, develop its own company style and introduce innovations. An ordinary plane, a reasonably polite crew, and all the traditional amenities offered by "full-service" airlines since the 70s and 80s.
The flight was exactly on schedule, provided reasonable comfort, without any luxury, for a low cost. That's all I remember about my flight with Yamal Airlines.
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