Moscow Domodedovo airport - now the Russian capital's busiest airport - will gain Austrian Airlines from early 2007.
Austrian Airlines is to transfer from Sheremetyevo, previously the number one gateway to Russia but now somewhat rundown and waiting for investment.
Last week Star member bmi flew into Domodedovo for the first time from Heathrow, joined by partner carrier Transaero who has moved its services, also daily, from Gatwick.
Bmi is the fifth airline-member of Star Alliance to schedule flights from Domodedovo. In addition to bmi and Austrian, four other members of the alliance”Swiss, Thai Airways, Singapore Airlines and Span Air schedule services into Domodedovo. With a direct high speed rail service into central Moscow Domodedovo is an impressive operation. When its present expansion is completed in six months” time it will be equal to any airport worldwide with top quality services with both air and landside, and a positive customer relationship.
Typically a free facility is provided for babies and children up to eight on a 24-hour basis. Another innovation is the so-called VIP landside lounge, in effect an executive service for check-in, immigration and security area complete with gourmet catering. Passengers pay for the amenity which in some ways is similar to Virgin Atlantic's Upper Class lounge.
Airside, the new international Silver Lounge provides its visitors with Internet access, fax communications and photocopying services. Other amenities include a buffet menu, a variety of Russian newspapers and magazines, and TV. The lounge also has a cloakroom and a smoking room. A particular feature of the Silver Lounge is that it has been designed expressly for passengers travelling with children. Children accompanied by their parents are welcomed without charge.