IrAero announces new direct flights from Irkutsk to Manila

Russian airline IrAero unveiled plans on Tuesday to initiate direct flights between Irkutsk, Russia, and Manila, Philippines, starting in March this year. The airline intends to operate weekly flights to Manila from March 6 to May 30, 2024.

An IrAero Sukhoi Superjet 100 aircraft being serviced at the gate. Photo from IrAero.

Sergey Krupnov, Deputy General Director of IrAero, stated that the decision to extend reservations from June to September would hinge on the route's performance during its initial operation. He noted that these months are typically considered a lean season for air travel.

The flight schedule is as follows: The Irkutsk-Manila leg will depart on Wednesdays, while the Manila-Irkutsk leg will depart on Thursdays. Both sectors will include a technical stop in Shijiazhuang, China, for an hour.

Flight IO-4271 is scheduled to depart from Irkutsk at 10:00 PM (UTC+8) and will arrive in Manila at 6:20 AM (UTC+8) the following day. The return flight, IO-4272, will leave Manila at 7:25 AM and is expected to land in Irkutsk at 3:05 PM.

The new route will be serviced by the Russian-built Sukhoi Superjet 100 regional jet, of which IrAero operates 11 in its fleet. The aircraft is equipped with 12 business class seats and 81 economy class seats.

Once established, this route will represent the sole air connectivity between Russia and the Philippines. Furthermore, the deployment of an SSJ to Manila would mark a first for the nation.