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Transaero Raises $4,550 on First Charity Flight

Published: November 22, 2013 (Issue # 1787)



  • The specially painted Transaero Boeing 747 waiting for passengers to board for a flight at Moscow's Vnukovo Airport.
    Photo: Courtesy of Transaero

Transaero Airlines has donated 150,000 rubles ($4,550) toward life-saving surgeries for Russian children after raising the money on an inaugural charity flight between Moscow and Miami.

A Transaero Boeing 747-400 jet painted with dozens of colorful handprints from prominent personalities made the "Flight of Hope" from Moscow's Vnukovo Airport on Saturday, the airline said.

About 200 passengers on the flight contributed a total of 100,000 rubles to Life Line, a Russian charity that assists children with serious heart, brain and spinal diseases. Passengers could choose to donate through onboard wi-fi services or text messages.

Transaero also held a drawing in which it donated the cost of the ticket for one seat to the charity. The price of the ticket for the winning seat was 50,000 rubles, Transaero said, without specifying which class the seat was in.

"The first Flight of Hope proved that Transaero's passengers are truly open-hearted and empathetic," the airline said in an e-mailed statement.

Other people have also contributed to the project, including U.S. company Midair USA, which painted the jet's fuselage with the handprints at no charge.

In addition to Transaero CEO Olga Pleshakova and Life Line president Faina Zakharova, handprints were contributed by Russian figure skating champions Tatiana Volosozhar and Maxim Trankov; Fekla Tolstaya, the great-great granddaughter of Lev Tolstoy and a celebrity journalist in her own right; Russian actresses Yana Poplavskaya and Miroslava Karpovich; MTV host Irena Ponaroshku; and author Oleg Roy, a Transaero spokeswoman said Thursday.

Transaero is the first Russian airline to promote charity among its passengers. The campaign could prove challenging in a society that lacks a tradition of contributing to causes and sometimes looks at charities with suspicion.

Life Line has raised about $42 million in corporate and private donations for operations on more than 6,140 children around Russia, the airline said. The charity works with children aged up to 17 and directs 100 percent of donations for treatment, it said.

Airlines in other countries have encouraged charity for some time. British-based EasyJet, for one, has used video appeals onboard its aircraft to seek donations from passengers, while Spain's Iberia has put donation envelopes in its seat-back pockets.

The specially painted Transaero jet will be operated on key business and premium vacation routes in the future, the airline said.





 


ALL ABOUT TOWN

Thursday, Aug. 28


Learn more about the citys upcoming municipal elections during the presentation of the project Road Map for the Municipal Elections being presented this evening in the conference hall on the third floor of Biblioteka at 21 Nevsky Prospekt. Steve Kaddins, a coordinator for Beautiful St. Petersburg, which gives residents an online forum to lodge complaints about infrastructure problems in the city, will be on hand to answer any questions. The meeting starts at 7 p.m. and is open to all.



Friday, Aug. 29


Park Pobedy will feature the sights and sounds of the world outside of Russia during the Open Art International Festival today. Taste foreign cuisine, learn how to make tea like the Chinese or relax in a hammock during the free event. Although entrance is free, you must register beforehand if you wish to attend.



Saturday, Aug. 30


Break out the tweed and channel your inner Englishman during the English Hunt Picnic this afternoon organized by the Bagmut stables from Krasny Bor in the Leningrad Oblast. Equestrian stunts, English archery and classic hunting fashion will all be available to visitors hoping to live like the characters in Downton Abbey if only for a day. Tickets for the event cost 7,900 rubles ($219.40).


Bookworms will have their chance to swap out well-read classics for something new for their bookshelves at Knigovorot, a free book exchange that will be held in the Yusupov Garden on Sadovaya Ulitsa today. Come for the chance to get a new book or take the opportunity to discuss the literary merits of your favorite authors with fellow fans.



Sunday, Aug. 31


The Neva Delta International Blues Festival wraps up this afternoon on Vasilevsky Island with a concert featuring not only some of Russias best blues bands but international stars as well. Admission is free for all three days of the festival, which begins on Aug. 29, and the shows starting at 5 p.m. each day.



Monday, Sept. 1


Today marks the beginning of Lermontov-Fest, a fall festival celebrating the life of one of Russias most remarkable poets who, in a fate eerily similar to Pushkins, was killed in a duel at the age of 26. Organized by the Lermontov Library System, the next several months will see art exhibitions, concerts and public lectures focusing on the Lermontovs short yet prolific career. Check the Lermontov Library Systems website for more details.



Tuesday, Sept. 2


Join expats and practice your Russian during the Russian Clubs weekly meetings every Tuesday night at 7:30 p.m. The club is free to participate in although you need to be a registered member of Couchsurfing.



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