Report S7 EVN-DME A321


    From Armenia, with love.
    Flight: Siberia Airlines S7-910
    Route: Yerevan Zvartnots - Moscow Domodedovo (EVN-DME)
    Date: 09 May 2015
    SDT: 1455-1700. SD: 3h05m
    Real Departure Time: 1501 (take off UDYZ RWY 27).
    Real Arrival Time: 1630 (landing UUDD RWY 32R). Real Durationl: 2h29m
    Aircraft: VQ-BQI Airbus 321-211 (MSN 2726 / First Flight 17MAR2006 - Ex CN-ROF Atlas Blue & Royal Air Maroc)
    Sear: 10F – Economy - Emergency Row

    This was a 36h trip to Yerevan, for a good friend’s wedding. I’ve been to Yerevan before, though, and here it was no tourism involved. Just a late arrival, a cab ride to the hotel, and back to the Airport the following day. Yerevan is the capital city of Armenia. Though in English is Yerevan, in Spanish now is Ereván, without "Y", some people spell it Երևան but i’d rather stick to the Russian style of Ереван.

    Flying from Moscow to Yerevan are thousands of options, most of them nonstop. I’ve tried last time VimAvia, which was my first flight ever in a B757. This time, I chose Ukraine International (for the DME-KBP-EVN) and S7 for the EVN-DME sector. This report will only cover the last sector.

    Ticket was bought for about 250USD online, in an Argentinean website which I’m used to. There is no way to spend my pesos left there, just on buying plane tickets.

    The wedding was held in a beautiful hotel, were I was staying. My friend and his wife were generous and smart to invite friends from all over the world. The wedding was amazing, in a mixed Armenian/Greek style. It ended close to 3am (having started at 3pm) so I went to my room to have some hours of sleep. The following morning, after breakfast, the hotel called me a taxi and we left to Zvartnots Airport, which is administrated by the same company that administrates and builds Argentine Airports. Quite a funny fact. If you’ve seen my previous reports, for instance this: you’ll see many things are similar between both airports, though they are in different parts of the world!
    Even the logo is the same!

    The trip from my hotel to the airport was just 20 minutes, in a nice Japanese bought Nissan (so, driver seats on the right seat). Usual for Armenia, but also for many areas in Russia. The route was unimpressing but fast.

    Parking is a bit far away, and you have to climb stairs, though it’s free of charge.

    Entering to the airport, you’ll find two terminals: the modern one, built in 2006/2007 and in use today, and the old soviet one, the one I call a Wedding Cake. The bridges for entering that - today closed - airport are falling apart. I think the ATC is still used today.

    Though I wanted to visit a ghost airport, just told the driver to drop me in the new terminal. Price was 5000 AMD (about 10EUR).

    Zvartnots is very similar to Buenos Aires AEP, though is mostly empty.

    Having about 20 flights a day, 80% of them go to Russia. The FIDS (same as in Argentina or Ecuador) added IATA codes, quite usefull, specially as half of the flights leave to Moscow three airports. Also, Armenian FIDS are provided. Lovely alphabet!

    Check in was fast, though they kept checking at my passport, visas and so on for a long while. I asked for a window and they gave me seat 08A.

    I saw close to the old terminal the fleet of Armavia (U8/RNV), now abandoned.

    We see an A320 built in 1991 (EK-32008), and a CRJ200LR built in1999 (EK-20014). Is important to remember that the EK-32008 is the Survivor plane. The other two belonging to Armavia had very bad faith: EK-32009 crashed killing all 116 on board, close to AER, on 03MAY2006. EK-32010 was burned to ashes in BRU two days later. There is people without luck in the world!

    Migrations and security control were fast. The terminal was almost empty, and there is almost nothing there. Big Duty Free (as in Argentina), a small coffee store, and a VIP Area. And a smokers lounge. That was the place where I went. There is free Wifi though it wasn’t working properly that day.

    I saw the departure of a B752 from Vim-Avia, RA-73008, brother of the RA-73012 in which if flew on the same route five months ago. Behind, you can see Ararat Mountain.

    I found a marvellous red Kawai piano, and I enjoyed playing a bit. Had never seen a piano in an airport before. It was free for anyone.

    There are some massage chairs available, for 0,20EUR/min - a prostitute in Yerevan is cheaper (they told me).

    Soon, our A321 arrived from Moscow. VQ-BQI this time.

    Boarding Pass and my passport last page: Russia, Armenia and Georgia

    Half an hour before the scheduled departure time, we were called to board. Fast!

    Boarding in Gate 5 - Bridge 13 (???).

    In Gate 2 - Bridge 11 was boarding an Aeroflot flight, also bound to Moscow, which was leaving at the same time as we


    Main entrance of the A321 - Greenish door. Russian!

    My seat, 8A, was a bit small. Is one row before the Emergency Exits, and it’s the worse seat I’ve ever seen. I showed that to a crew member and she told me to move to another seat when doors closed.

    I spent some time reading the S7 magazine that covered destinations a bit mixed: Volgograd (Rusia), Varna (Bulgaria), Berlin (Germany) y San Francisco (USA - I’ve been to all of them!
    I’m not the biggest fan of One World Airlines. In my opinion they have a standardized, though poor service. Star Alliance is efficient, and even robotic. Sky Team (my favourite), is a mixed feeling of the best and the worse experiences, all together, even in the same flight!

    I moved two rows back to the Emergency Exit, to Seat 10F. The best available in this plane, in front of the jump-seat.

    We saw an abandoned Tu154-B2 EK-85403, built for Aeroflot Armenia SSR in March 1980, flew with Armenian Airlines (RME/R3) between 1993 and 2003.

    We performed a U turn at RWY27. I saw from my windows cars, trucks and and people in the runways other end. Commented that to the stewardess and she told me it’s normal.
    Take off was performed just 6 minutes behind schedule. Perfect timing!

    Later I saw that half of the runway is being renovated, so RWY09 has a desplaced threshold of 2000m (available runway is about 1800m now).

    Some views of the Airport’s runway and Terminals

    City of Yerevan, lovely and recommendable for all of you!

    Nice female stewardess.

    Cruise flight level (FL320) was reached in few minutes, and inmediately after we were offered lunch, or sort of… A bad “tortilla” - dry and old piece of bread with a big of chicken. Later there was some drinks and coffee offered. Quite a bad service, though having eaten so much in the wedding I really didn’t care much.


    I found a strange city in Russia, possibly in Rostov or Krasnodar Provinces.

    Winglets (?)

    Babies cried during the whole flight. As I was in an emergency exit, and I know how to open the door, i was thinking on babies, decompression… don’t know!

    2 hours after taking off, we were starting our descend to sunny Moscow, 23C, and we would land 30 minutes before planed.
    Final approach to Runway 32R

    They are building a new section of the terminal at DME. It will be mainly for wide body aircraft.


    DME is a hateful airport. Is always crowded and the construction looks cheap and of bad materials.

    There were no jet-bridges available (as in 8/10 flights I’ve taken from DME this year so far). We were bussed to the terminal. The whole crew, even captain and co-pilot greeted us in the exit, because of the Day of Victory - The biggest holiday in Russia. Seeing so much sun is rare in Moscow.

    Wonderful apron. Looks as Baghdad in a bad morning - Old joke.

    Migrations took over 40 minutes, as it was crowded. Also it was hot and the corporal smell of many people wasn’t pleasant.

    I saw a lovely B738 EZ-A016 of Turkmenistan Airlines (T5/TUA) matrícula EZ-A016, and also planes from LY (Israel), U6 (Russia) and HY (Uzbekistan).

    Flights from Armenia, Kazakhstan or Belarus don’t have to clear customs, so we went to luggage belt 10 - domestic. It was fast! I left the airport in no time avoiding the thousands of taxis offering their services.
    Domodedovo Terminal - Main entrance

    I walked to the bus stop, and took a bus to Domodedovskaya Metro Station, 30km away. There I had left my car parked the day before. The bus ticket is just 120rub (2,40USD).

    About 1h40 after having landed I was at home, enjoying after so much things on just 36hours!.

    I wish you enjoyed. Feedback and corrections are always welcomed.
    Eielef @MOW