There are still tones of international airlines flying to Russia in 2023, just not any Western ones, and that’s the main problem for tourists from coming the EU, UK or even the USA and Canada.
You’re looking for an airline to fly from the European Union or a Western country to Russia ? You’re at the right place ! I’ve done the research for you (and me, obviously), and stumbled upon lots of wrong informations.
In this post I share with you 5 airlines from which you can buy a flight ticket with your Visa or Mastercard, without making a massive detour to the Middle East nor breaking the bank.
Listed in no particlar order – I chose them because I think they are the most convenient for a Western tourist like me – All opinions are my own
Note : the prices in this post are for informational purpose only. You should of course check directly on the airline’s website to have the real price on a specific date.
I’ve chose Paris as a departure city because 1- it’s the closest to my home 2- it’s one of Europe’s biggest city. The prices of the flights listed below are 3 months prior trip’s departure. If you book last minute, they might double or more.
Air Serbia offers what I think are the most direct flights to Russia from the West, though it comes at a certain price, especially if you book “last minute”.
It has flights to Moscow, Saint – Petersburg and Sochi from Belgrade and flights from major european capitals (Paris, London, Amsterdam and plenty more …) to Serbia’s capital, daily.
You can book a flight from Paris to Moscow with a layover in Belgrade, no need to pass the Serbian immigration or else. Your luggages will be transfer directly to your next flight.
Flights from Paris to Moscow with a layover in Belgrade start from 365€
8 hours layover. If booked last minute it can go up to 800+ euros though.
Belavia is a Belarussian compagny, it doesn’t fly in and around the European Union but has plenty of direct and cheap flights from Minsk to Moscow. It’s not the most straightforward way to reach Russia from Western Europe but it’s definitely one of the cheapest.
Let me explain : reach Poland (plenty of bus, trains and planes) from any Western/other european country, go to Belarus by bus (transit visa needed which is about 80€) and fly from Minsk to Moscow (I’ve found flights as cheap as 31€. No kidding).
You can buy your ticket directly on Belavia’s website with your Visa or Mastercard. (I’ve asked the Belavia customer service directly on Telegram)
Note : as a third country national you cannot cross the land border between Russia and Belarus, because there is no border post. One must fly between the two countries in order to go through the immigration. The flights are still considered domestic though.
Turkish airlines is by far the one that offers the most flights to russian cities, and Turkey is easily reached from pretty much anywhere in the world.
They have regular flights from Istanbul to 36 destinations in Russia, including Moscow, Saint Petersburg, Sochi, Kazan etc (note that some airports in Russia are closed due to their proximity with Ukraine).
Be careful if you book a low cost flight to Istanbul, these airlines fly to Sabiha Gokcen airport, which is 60 kilometers to Havalimanı, Istanbul’s main airport where Turkish airlines flights depart from.
Flights from Paris to Moscow with a layover in Istanbul start from 550€
Direct flights from Istanbul to Moscow are about 250€
Pegasus is Turkey’s low cost airlines and has flights to 3 destinatons in Russia : Moscow, Saint Petersburg and Kazan.
They offer regular flights multiple times a week from Istanbul to Russia. You can easily book a flight from a major european city such as Paris, Berlin, Copenhagen etc to Moscow with a layover in Istanbul.
Note that Pegasus flies from Sabiha Gokcen airport, which is not Istanbul’s main airport and pretty crappy in my opinion (you’ve been warned).
Flights from Paris to Moscow with a layover in Istanbul start from 300€ (some even cheaper !)
Direct flight from Istanbul to Moscow are about 170€
FlyOne Armenia is a low cost airlines based in Yerevan with 6 destinations in Russia including Moscow and Saint-Petersburg. They have flights from France, the UK, Belgium and a few other European countries.
The layovers are rather long though … between 10 to 12 hours according to my research.
If flying from Paris you could fly Transavia (Air France’s low cost affiliate) first to Yerevan and then FlyOne.
Flights from Paris to Moscow with a layover in Yerevan start from 220€
Direct flights from Yeravan to Moscow are about 128€
Let me know in the comments which airline you chose to fly to Russia !
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