Fly from the tropical Thai holiday island of Phuket to the Moldovan capital of Chisinau for just 610 EUR one-way or 1,024 EUR return in business class on Aeroflot.
Russian flag carrier Aeroflot has a nice little sale from Phuket (Thailand) to many destinations throughout the former Soviet Union. The most attractive fare is a 610 EUR one-way flight to Chisinau – the capital of Moldova. This is an excellent option for those holidaying in south-eastern Asia who need a flight to head back home to Europe, as normally you can easily pay such a price for a ticket in economy class alone. Of course, you can also book a return ticket from Phuket to Chisinau, which will set you back 1,024 EUR. Note that these fares are only available from Phuket, and not vice versa starting in Chisinau.
Chisinau is not the only destination we have found on this deal. You can also fly Aeroflot from Phuket to Bishkek in Kyrgyzstan (1,025 EUR return or 603 EUR one-way) as well as to the Armenian capital of Yerevan (1,043 EUR return, 599 EUR one-way) and Baku in Azerbaijan (1,047 EUR return, 604 EUR one-way).
Availability and routing
Flight availability seems to be wide open in winter and spring. There are two potential routes depending on the exact dates you select. On some days, Aeroflot operates a direct flight between Phuket and Moscow Sheremetyevo, where you connect to a flight to your final destination.
On the days when the direct Phuket-Moscow flight is not operating, you will first head on Bangkok Airways to the Thai capital of Bangkok where you connect to an Aeroflot flight to Moscow. Do note when selecting this option that the Bangkok Airways flight be operated in economy class and that the Aeroflot Bangkok to Moscow flight is actually operated by Rossiya on an Aeroflot codeshare.
What to expect on board?
Aeroflot operated modern, new aeroplanes and is nowadays a far cry from the unreliable, dodgy airline it once was in Soviet times. The long-haul flight will be operated by a Boeing 777 with lie-flat business class seats in a 2-2-2 configuration. Aeroflot’s short haul planes all have leather recliner seats in business class in a 2-2 layout. Food, service and champagne on board of Aeroflot is generally considered to be excellent. Having flown Aeroflot myself on a number of journeys across the former Soviet Union, I can highly recommend them. The only slight negative are the somewhat lacklustre business class lounges which the airline operates at Sheremetyevo.
Although I have no first-hand experience on Rossiya, the Bangkok Airways flights in economy should really not be a reason to ignore this deal. Bangkok Airways markets itself as “Asia’s boutique airline” and in my opinion this moniker is warranted. Even though the Phuket to Bangkok flight is just over an hour, you can expect full meal service. The airline also operates an airport lounge for its economy class passengers with free snacks and drinks. Although you will have a standard economy seat, at least the service will at least feel premium.
Moldova, Armenia and Kyrgyzstan allow visa-free access to EU nationals as well as most nationals of other Western states such as the US, Canada and Australia. Azerbaijan nowadays has a handy e-visa system for which you need to apply in advance. You do not need a Russian visa if you transit through Moscow’s Sheremetyevo airport and are connecting flights, unless you plan on leaving the airport. As always, we recommend you to check yourself whether or not you might need a visa for the trip.
How to find and book these flights?
To search for flights, I would recommend to use the ITA Matrix as its easy and fast to use. For booking the tickets, use your favourite online travel agency or check a website such as Kayak which will link you to several options where to buy the flights. Of course, you can also book with Aeroflot directly.