Flight Review: Aeroflot Economy on Airbus A330

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This is not the first Aeroflot flight review we post on this blog, not even the first on this route (see for example our Aeroflot business class from Moscow to London), but what made this flight particularly interesting was the chance to review Aeroflot's A330 economy class product on a European flight.

Flight #: SU2578

From: Moscow Sheremetyevo (SVO)

To: London Heathrow (LHR)

Flight time: 3h 35min

Aircraft: Airbus A330-300

Although most of Aeroflot's European flights are operated by aircraft of the A320 family or Boeing 737s, this particular mid-morning frequency on the Heathrow run is done on an Airbus A330-300.

By the way, not the only airline that flies between Moscow and London on a wide-body aircraft, you can also read, for example, our flight report of British Airways Moscow to London Heathrow service on a Boeing 777.

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First of all a word about what "bad weather" means in Russia. 

The serious snowfall that we had at Sheremetyevo airport right before the flight departure would have easily created chaos and total collapse in most European airports. Not in Moscow.

We did face some delay in our departure, but it was never in doubt that we would be flying. Kudos to Aeroflot at Sheremetyevo airport for sustaining their operations with relative normality in these conditions!

 Some serious de-icing was needed before departure, of course!

Some serious de-icing was needed before departure, of course!

 Welcome on board!

Welcome on board!

So, after a little excursion through the apron and a walk in the snow (we were taken by bus to the aircraft, that was parked a bit apart from the terminal), here we are, in the economy class cabin that would be our home for the next 3.5h.

One of the things I particularly like about the A330 is the 2-3-2 configuration. I almost did not mind getting an aisle seat! (Aeroflot, you need to fix those self check-in machines at SVO!)

As you can see dark blue and orange hues dominate the cabin.

The seats are quite solid (old school!) and comfortable (I ignore who is the manufacturer, any tips welcome). Blankets are provided.

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The other big plus (over an A320/Boeing 737) of flying an aircraft primarily designed for the long haul on a short/mid haul route is the in-flight entertainment system.

This may change once Aeroflot equips its Airbus A320-family fleet with wifi and BYOD IFE, but for the time being, the embedded Panasonic IFE system provides good entertainment in what is, after all, not quite a short flight (almost 4h!).

The content selection was quite broad with both international and Russian titles and the flying map is always a nice thing to have.

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Then there is the food.

Two rounds of drinks and lunch (the flight operated during the Russian midday).

Food in Aeroflot tends to be quite tasty, even in economy. The bread can do with some improvement, but there is always a cold appetizer plus a choice of chicken and something else.

My advice is to avoid the red wine. The white wine is decent (for economy class standards), though.

They serve also tea or coffee onboard (or another round of drinks).

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A nice detail about eating on economy class on Aeroflot is that you get to see the menu, just as people traveling on business class. Choices and quality may be more limited, but, still, it is a simple detail that gives a feeling of enhanced service.

Add to this the fact that economy class passengers (not only on wide-body aircraft since I got it also on Aeroflot A320 flights) get their own "amenity bag", that you can collect when you enter the aircraft.

It is pretty simple: a pair of sleepers, ear plugs and a mask to sleep. But, still, it is a simple detail that gives an impression of superior service...Moreover, it comes with a nice bag, decorated with images of some of the destinations on Aeroflot's route network.

 I chose the beautiful city of St.Petersburg for my amenity bag. The other contenders were Amsterdam and Astana.

I chose the beautiful city of St.Petersburg for my amenity bag. The other contenders were Amsterdam and Astana.

 Here the contents of Aeroflot economy class amenity bag

Here the contents of Aeroflot economy class amenity bag

And, as always, a comment about the seat pitch.

Pretty decent. Not very clear in the picture below, but I can assure you my legs did not touch the magazine bag in front.

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 We got also a set of earphones to enjoy the IFE system

We got also a set of earphones to enjoy the IFE system

 Here a general view of the A330-300 cabin with its 2-3-2 configuration. A rather convenient layout for the long haul that passengers on some European routes (like Moscow to London) can occasionally enjoy too!

Here a general view of the A330-300 cabin with its 2-3-2 configuration. A rather convenient layout for the long haul that passengers on some European routes (like Moscow to London) can occasionally enjoy too!

Our take:

An excellent product overall and superior, by a wide margin, to the narrow-body offerings on the same route.

If interested about Aeroflot service and products, check also our flight review of its A321 business class and A320 economy class.