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Back Local News Vladivostok Air expected to launch flights this month

Vladivostok Air expected to launch flights this month

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THE Russian carrier Vladivostok Air will launch its inaugural charter flight to Guam later this month, Charles Ada, general manager of the Guam International Airport Authority (GIAA), said yesterday.

“We are very excited about that,” Ada said. “As you know, Russian tourists stay three to four times longer than the average tourist.”

Ada, however, could not state the exact date of the flight launch.

Vladivostok Air, the largest carrier in the Russian Far East and Siberia, operates scheduled domestic flights within Russia and international flights to Africa, Asia, and Europe, as well as charter flights and a well-established helicopter service.

The main hub of operations is Vladivostok International Airport, with secondary hubs at Moscow Sheremetyevo International Airport and Khabarovsk Novy International Airport, and a focus city in Ekaterinburg Koltsovo Airport.

In an earlier announcement, the airport authority said Vladivostok Air’s dry run will operate bi-weekly charter flights to Guam from Khabarovsk Novy International Airport and Vladivostok International Airport, using the A320 with a capacity of 155.

Boom

Guam has seen a boom in Russian tourism and business following the federal government’s approval of the visa waiver for Russia in January 2012.

Under the Guam-Russia Visa Waiver Parole Authority, Russian tourists can enter the island for up to 45 days without need of a visa.

Guam saw Russian visits increase from 635 in 2011 to 4,038 last year.

In April, the Guam Visitors Bureau reported a 317.7 percent increase in Russian arrivals.

Currently, Russian visitors – mainly from Far East Russia – travel to Guam through Korea and Japan via Jeju Air and Japan Airlines.

Ada said the airline industry is projecting a traffic growth of 1.7 million in fiscal year.

“It’s a good thing,” Ada said.

However, he said Guam has to overcome the challenge of increasing hotel occupancy.

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