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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

Saturday, Oct. 25


AVA Expo, the eighth edition of the event revolving around all things pop, returns to Lenexpo this weekend. Geeks, nerds, dweebs and dorks will have their chance to talk science fiction and explore a variety of international pop culture. Tickets for the event can be purchased on their website at avaexpo.ru.



Sunday, Oct. 26


Zenit St. Petersburg returns home for the first time in nearly a month as they host Mordovia Saransk in a Russian Premier League game. Currently at the top of the league thanks to their undefeated start to the season, the northern club hopes to extend the gap between them and second-place CSKA Moscow and win the title for the first time in three years. Tickets are available at the stadium box office or on the club’s website.



Monday, Oct. 27


Today marks the end of the art exhibit “Neophobia” at the Erarta Museum. Artists Alexey Semichov and Andrei Kuzmin took a neo-modernist approach to represent the array of fears that are ever-present throughout our lives. Tickets are 200 rubles ($4.90).



Tuesday, Oct. 28


The Domina Prestige St. Petersburg hotel plays host to SPIBA’s Marketing and Communications Committee’s round table discussion on “Government Relations Practices in Russia” this morning. The discussion starts at 9:30 a.m. and participation must be confirmed by Oct. 24.



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