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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.





 


Times Talk

ALL ABOUT TOWN

Friday, Apr. 18


Teachers and students alike shouldn’t miss the opportunity to establish lasting contacts with Russian and foreign institutions during the 21st Education and Career Fair at LenExpo, beginning today and finishing tomorrow. Learn more about education in Russia and connect with your fellow scholars.


The Tromso International Film Festival, Norway’s largest, brings a short festival to St. Petersburg for one day only during Scandinavian Oddities, starting at 7 p.m. today at Rodina Cinema Center. Tickets for the event are 100 rubles ($2.80).


Sunday, Apr. 20


Celebrate Easter at Pavlovsk during the Easter Fair that begins today and continues through next Sunday. Visitors will have the chance to paint Easter eggs and children can take part in games as well as help decorate a tree in honor of Christianity’s holiest day.


Today is one of the final days to see the exhibit Cacti — Children of the Sun at the Peter the Great Botanical Garden. Starting Apr. 17, budding botanists will marvel at the variety and beauty of the desert’s most iconic plant.


Monday, Apr. 21


Improve your grasp of Neruda, Bolano and Marquez at TrueDA’s Beginners Spanish Lesson this evening at their location on the Petrograd Side. An experienced teacher will be on hand to help all attendees better understand the intricacies of the language and improve their accent.


Tuesday, Apr. 22


SPIBA’s Breakfast with the Director event series continues as the association welcomes Andrei Barannikov, general director of SPN Communications, to the Anna Pavlova Hall of the Angleterre Hotel this morning at 9 a.m. Attendees must confirm their participation by Apr. 21.


The AmCham Environment, Health and Safety Committee Meeting is scheduled to begin at 9 a.m. this morning in the their St. Petersburg office.