Russia's Aeroflot - Russian Air Lines intends to gain leading positions in passenger carriage on the Russian-US routes. The concept of an Aeroflot new to the Americans was unveiled in the US during a series of presentations "Try New Aeroflot", in New York and Los Angeles, organised with the support of RIA Novosti.
"Now that the quality of our service has reached new levels, we gladly invite American passengers to enjoy our services and are confident that they will feel quite at home aboard our planes," said Yevgeny Bachurin, commercial director of the Russian air carrier.
The most authoritative American tourist industry magazine Travel Weekly states that Aeroflot is changing its standards of service, equipment and, most important of all, the unfriendly and unreliable image of Soviet times and it looks as if it has mastered the gist of marketing in the American style.
In the course of the presentations an announcement was made that the first North American office of the Aeroflot-Bonus has opened in New York to serve passengers under the Frequent Flyer programme. The number of its users in the US alone is more than 20,000 people and together with Canada it covers more than 50,000 passengers.
"We are very glad that a bonus programme office has opened in New York," Anatoly Delaveri, Aeroflot regional director in the US, told the agency. "Now we have brought our service down to the consumer and all matters connected with carriage are decided far more quickly."
"Aeroflot seeks to create the most comfortable conditions for passengers. We have improved the menu, developed a new uniform for air hostesses. We also poll our clients all the time and try to take into account all recommendations which reach us," said Igor Chunikhin, head of the lines' service division.
On the New York and Los Angeles directions, for example, first and business class passengers will have a la carte meals. Passengers will be able to choose dishes of the Russian and European cuisine from the flight menu. This service is included in the fare, while other air lines offer it at extra cost.
In 2005, Aeroflot plans to join the international aviation alliance SkyTeam, which comprises Air France, Delta Air Lines, AeroMexico, Alitalia, Czech Airlines, and Korean Air.
More than 3,500 people were detained during unprecedented mass protests that swept across all of Russia in support of Alexey Navalny on January 23