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Sheremetyevo International Airport
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Sheremetyevo International Airport

Sheremetyevo International Airport (Russian: Шереме́тьево) is otherwise known as Sheremetyevo-2. It is an airport located in Moscow, Russia.

It is a hub for the passenger operations of the Russian international airline Aeroflot, and has the IATA Airport Code SVO. Moscow has several airports, of which the two most used are Sheremetyevo and Domodedovo International Airport. The IATA code for all airports serving Moscow is MOW.

Sheremetyevo was opened in 1959; the first international flight was on 1 June 1960. Sheremetyevo-1 opened in 1964; Sheremetyevo-2 (the most likely entrance point for most tourists) opened in 1980 in time for the Moscow Olympics.

Sheremetyevo-2 is the larger of the two terminals, and is the arrival and departure point for international flights. Flights to cities in Russia and other CIS countries and charter flights arrive and depart Sheremetyevo-1. There is no physical connection between the two terminals; they are essentially separate airports using the same set of runways.

Today, the airport processes almost 12 million passengers annually. This represents almost a quarter of all air passengers, and over 60% of the passengers on international airline flights. [Figures according to the official website].

Table of contents
1 Problems
2 Transport and accessibility
3 Ongoing construction
4 Airlines flying into Sheremetyevo
5 External links

Problems

Sheremetyevo airport was called Europe's worst airport by The Russia Journal. The airport is plagued by long queues, delayes at immigration, parking problems, dim lighting, poor seating, poor service and worst possible transport links to the city.

Connecting internationally to flights bound for Russian or CIS cities from Sheremetyevo can be a hassle. The only visa-free transfer between the international and domestic terminals is a shuttle bus run by Aeroflot. All other exit from the airport requires a Russian visa, even if one holds a visa for another CIS country.

Transport and accessibility

It can take anywhere from 20 minutes to two hours from the city center to get to the airport. The main road leading to the airport - Leningradskoe Shosse - can get clogged during the rush hour, often resulting in passengers missing their flights. Taxi fares tend to vary; the better your Russian, the lower the costs of getting to the airport. Slow buses and faster minivans (fixed price shared taxis) connect Sheremetyevo with Moscow's extensive metro network.

The airport lies in Moscow Oblast. The Moscow city, a separate federal entity with an infinitely stronger budget, has been trying to gain control of it for years. So far this hasn't happened and the city's unwilling to single-handedly finance a rapid transit system to link Moscow and airport; Moscow Oblast is too poor to share costs.

Ongoing construction

In the 2000s Sheremetyevo saw growing competition from a newer and more comfortable (albeit smaller) Domodedovo International Airport. With major airlines leaving Sheremetyevo (most notably, British Airways and Swiss International Airlines), the need for reconstruction has become ever more evident.

Upgrading the airport will include construction of a new terminal, Sheremetyevo-3 - construction which was supposed to be paid for by the Russian national airline Aeroflot. Aeroflot currently accounts for over 50% of passengers arriving and departing Sheremetyevo and desperately needs its own terminal in order to gain admittance into SkyTeam airline alliance. The airline was hoping to win a tender to manage Sheremetyevo for 3 years. However, early in 2004 the airport's anchor tenant lost its bid, and the management was awarded to a private financial group. Relations between Sheremetyevo and Aeroflot suddenly soured and Sheremetyevo's anchor tenant has even threatened to move business to Domodedovo. Nevertheless, reconstruction of Sheremetyevo is scheduled to begin in 2004 and analysts hope that by the end of 2007, more than 15 million passengers will be passing through Sheremetyevo's various terminals.

A rapid transit system (mentioned above) was supposed to also connect the airport to Leningrad Station (Leningradskii vokzal) in Moscow, the departure point for trains to Saint Petersburg, formerly Leningrad. These plans seem to be put on hold as in 2004 the City of Moscow announced it was going to concentrate efforts on upgrading a third Moscow airport, Vnukovo.

Airlines flying into Sheremetyevo

The following airlines are among the more than 80 airlines (according to the airport's official site) that fly to Sheremetyevo International Airport:

External links