Planespotting in Moscow: a colorful festival

A Kirgizstan Airlines TU-154, see in the background the large amount of old Soviet-made airliners parked (most of these aircraft do not seem to be in active use)

Azerbaijan Airlines Boeing 757

An A320 of Armenian carrier Armavia

This year I missed Farnborough airshow because I had scheduled a trip to Moscow on the same dates, however, what I saw during my wait at Moscow's Domodedovo airport was probably more interesting for someone, like me, interested in airliners, as one after another aircraft from the myriad of airlines that operate today in Russia paraded in front of the terminal in their way to or from the runways.

I guess the first word that comes to the mind of the Western planespotter in Russia is "diversity": Diversity of airlines, because besides the main European and Asian airlines you get to see many airlines that seldom operate outside Russia or the countries of the former Soviet Union and also diversity of aircraft, because Moscow's airports are one of the few major hubs where you can still see a considerable amount of Soviet-made aircraft alongside the typical Boeing and Airbus models.

Soviet-era airliners are becoming a rarer sight as Russian airline's fleets become Westernised, and they seem to become increasingly confined to the fleets of former Soviet republics' airlines.

This Westernisation might reverse, though, when Russia successfully launches its new range of civilian aircraft, such as the Irkut MS-21.

The evolution of the civilian aviation sector in Russia has a fascinating story and I think it deserves more than one, watch this space!