Aeroflot Celebrates 100th Anniversary

An Aeroflot Airbus A350 approaches to land.
Riik@mctr, CC BY-SA 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

This week saw Aeroflot celebrate its 100th anniversary, notably on March 17 and received congratulatory remarks from the Russian president.

Vladimir Putin’s Comments on Aeroflot’s 100th Anniversary…

Photo Credit: Emil Bree/AviationSource

Russia’s President, Vladimir Putin, had this to say on the 100th anniversary of Aeroflot:

“The history of Aeroflot dates back to Dobrolet, the Russian Voluntary Air Fleet Society established on March 17, 1923.”

“Over the past decades, generations of Aeroflot employees have made a truly unique contribution to Russia’s development.”

“They opened promising air routes, participated in the development of the Arctic and other territories, and introduced new equipment.”


“We will always remember the courage shown by pilots and other civil aviation workers during the Great Patriotic War.”

“Today, Aeroflot Group is the country’s largest aviation holding and a leader in passenger air transportation.”

“Its staff is a team of highly qualified professionals who know and love their job.”

“You are worthy successors to the wonderful long-standing traditions, ensuring reliable connectivity between Russian regions, flying to a number of foreign countries, maintaining high standards of quality of service, and putting passenger comfort and safety above everything else.”

A Brief History of Aeroflot…

Photo Credit: Emil Bree/AviationSource

Aeroflot is the flag carrier and largest airline in Russia. The airline was founded in 1923, making it one of the world’s oldest airlines.

Aeroflot operates an extensive domestic network, including services to all major cities in Russia, as well as international flights to over 60 destinations in 40 countries.

In recent years, the airline has been modernizing its fleet and now operates a mix of Western-built Airbus and Boeing aircraft, as well as Russian-built Sukhoi Superjets.

In 1923, the Soviet government issued a decree establishing an air force within the Red Army and, in 1924, created Dobrolet, the first state-owned airline in the USSR.

Aeroflot was founded on 7 February 1923 by the decree of the Soviet Union’s Council of People’s Commissars as Dobroflot (Russian: Доброфлот, lit. good fleet), which translates as “good” or “gracious” flight.

The word добро (dobro) is also used to mean “honor”.

This root has been used since medieval times to denote hasty, unsafe, or uncertain journeys by sea or overland.

The first commercial passenger flight took place on 1 July 1923 from Moscow to Nizhni Novgorod on a Junkers F.13 aircraft captained by Konstantinovich Efimov (later vice-commander of Aeroflot).


Photo Credit: Emil Bree/AviationSource

From its beginnings as a small airline founded in 1923 to its current position as the world’s largest air carrier, Aeroflot has come a long way.

It has seen many changes and challenges over the years, but it remains one of the most iconic airlines on the planet.

However, this celebration has been largely overshadowed by the ongoing war in Ukraine, of which the airline has suffered significantly in the wake of sanctions.

Looking ahead, Aeroflot is trying to make gains in the international markets that they are allowed to operate in, as well as bolstering its domestic network.

For now, all eyes are on Aeroflot to see what else it has in its back pocket to keep pushing through sanctions and last another 100 years.

By James Field - Editor in Chief 4 Min Read
4 Min Read
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