Vladivostok Air is planning weekly flights for two months next summer between Anchorage and Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky, a city of about 175,000 on Russia's Kamchatka Peninsula. It will be the first commercial air link between the Russian Far East and Alaska since Alaska Airlines dropped its Anchorage-Russia routes in the late 1990s.
Siberia has long been a popular destination for American hunters and fisherman, but not for mainstream tourists. That could be changing. Cities like Petropavlovsk, Kamchatka's jumping-off point for outdoor adventurers, and Vladivostok, a coastal city with upscale accommodations and cultural attractions like museums and theaters, have made big efforts to encourage tourism. The Kamchatka Ecotourism Society delivers English-language trip assistance for hikers, skiers and sightseers, and the hilly city of Vladivostok has undergone years of rebuilding, replacing Soviet-era high-rises with luxury hotels and entertainment sites.
The Anchorage-Petropavlovsk flights, running from mid-July to mid-September, will take approximately four hours. See a proposed flight schedule here.