Flying the hammer and sickle way

Aeroflot survives as Russia's largest international airline, a remnant of the old Soviet aviation monopoly. In an industry roiled by low fare carriers, it has somehow managed to adapt and survive, albeit sometimes encountering problems with state intrusion.

I have never flown on Aeroflot, in part because I will never forget the account of an engineer friend who flew on them in the old days, and who was appalled at the sloppy machining he found in the seat mounting to the floor. Being a curious engineer, he examined it closely, to see how it was built, compared to Western aircraft seats. If they are that sloppy machining parts for the seat, he warned me, imagine what could happen in safety—related parts of the machine.

The New Aeroflot flies mostly Western aircraft, from both Airbus and Boeing, along with a few Tupolevs and Ilyushins. I am aware of no particular safty risks, and if I ever travel to Russia, I would considere flying Aeropflot today.

But its logo remains wings surrounding the hammer and sickle.

Recently, the company unveiled a corporate video (in Russian), an extended TV commercial that makes for entertaining viewing. To a pounding disco beat, you can see its aircraft, interiors, and a computer simulation of the new Terminal Three at Sheremetyevo Airport in Moscow, along with scads of extremely attractive female reservations agents and cabin attendants.

I just wonder when they will ditch the hammer and sickle wings, if ever?

Thomas Lifson   11 19 06

Update:

Paul Tholfsen writes:

Maybe it's just me, but I prefer airlines with trained pilots, and not their kids, in command. See the "Kid in the Cockpit" link.  The Flight 593 crash became the subject of a number of films and Cable TV shows.

I recall a short flight I took in the 1960's on LOT (Poland) from Krakow to Warsaw.  As the plane taxied out to the runway, the "Fasten Seat Belts" sign suddenly fell off its ceiling mount to the floor, with a resounding crash.  A number of passengers crossed themselves, although the flight continues without further incident.

Aeroflot survives as Russia's largest international airline, a remnant of the old Soviet aviation monopoly. In an industry roiled by low fare carriers, it has somehow managed to adapt and survive, albeit sometimes encountering problems with state intrusion.

I have never flown on Aeroflot, in part because I will never forget the account of an engineer friend who flew on them in the old days, and who was appalled at the sloppy machining he found in the seat mounting to the floor. Being a curious engineer, he examined it closely, to see how it was built, compared to Western aircraft seats. If they are that sloppy machining parts for the seat, he warned me, imagine what could happen in safety—related parts of the machine.

The New Aeroflot flies mostly Western aircraft, from both Airbus and Boeing, along with a few Tupolevs and Ilyushins. I am aware of no particular safty risks, and if I ever travel to Russia, I would considere flying Aeropflot today.

But its logo remains wings surrounding the hammer and sickle.

Recently, the company unveiled a corporate video (in Russian), an extended TV commercial that makes for entertaining viewing. To a pounding disco beat, you can see its aircraft, interiors, and a computer simulation of the new Terminal Three at Sheremetyevo Airport in Moscow, along with scads of extremely attractive female reservations agents and cabin attendants.

I just wonder when they will ditch the hammer and sickle wings, if ever?

Thomas Lifson   11 19 06

Update:

Paul Tholfsen writes:

Maybe it's just me, but I prefer airlines with trained pilots, and not their kids, in command. See the "Kid in the Cockpit" link.  The Flight 593 crash became the subject of a number of films and Cable TV shows.

I recall a short flight I took in the 1960's on LOT (Poland) from Krakow to Warsaw.  As the plane taxied out to the runway, the "Fasten Seat Belts" sign suddenly fell off its ceiling mount to the floor, with a resounding crash.  A number of passengers crossed themselves, although the flight continues without further incident.