Name game: an Aeroflot Sukhoi Superjet at Moscow's Pushkin airport, previously known as Sheremetyevo
Name game: an Aeroflot Sukhoi Superjet at Moscow's Pushkin airport, previously known as Sheremetyevo

Russia renames airports after Pushkin, Empress Elizabeth and Catherine the Great

Changes will cause confusion among travellers, many of whom already struggle to master airport names in the world's biggest nation

Simon Calder
Travel Correspondent
Wednesday 05 June 2019 11:07
Comments

It is as if London’s main airports, Heathrow, Gatwick and Stansted, were re-named overnight: Vladimir Putin has ordered that the three top airports in Moscow are now named after notable citizens.

They are the most prominent of 40 new names for airports spanning the length and breadth of the world’s biggest country.

The rebranding decreed by the president involves airports from Kaliningrad in the west (now Empress Elizabeth of Russia) to Vladivostok in the east (named after Vladimir Arsenyev, a prominent explorer).

But by far the biggest airports affected are those serving Moscow.

Sheremetyevo, the busiest – and the main hub for Aeroflot – becomes Alexander Pushkin. The writer was born in Moscow in 1799.

Aeroflot is continuing to use the old name.

Domodedovo, the main airport for British Airways and its partner S7 Airlines, now honours Mikhail Lomonosov. As a teenager, he walked from his village in the far north of Russia to Moscow in order to study science – a field in which he later excelled.

Vnukovo, meanwhile, becomes Andrei Tupolev – the most prominent aircraft designer in the USSR. In the 21st century, though, most of the aircraft serving the airport in the south of the capital are Airbus and Boeing jets.

Two airports in southern Russia are notable in the list headed: “On the assignment to airports of the names of persons with special services to the Fatherland.”

Krasnodar’s Pashkovsky airport is one of very few to be named after a woman: Catherine the Great, who was actually born in present-day Sczeczin in Poland.

The changes will do nothing to counter the impression that travel in Russia is complicated.

Sochi, venue for the Winter Olympics in 2018, previously called its airport Sochi Adler International, after the two resorts it serves.

Support free-thinking journalism and attend Independent events

It is now Vitaly Sevastyanov, after a cosmonaut twice awarded the status of Hero of the Soviet Union.

The notable airport absent from the list is St Petersburg’s Pulkovo airport – the fourth busiest in Russia.

Vladimir Putin himself was born in the city, then known as Leningrad, in 1952.

The airport still uses the code LED, derived from the Soviet name.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Please enter a valid email
Please enter a valid email
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Please enter your first name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
Please enter your last name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
You must be over 18 years old to register
You must be over 18 years old to register
Opt-out-policy
You can opt-out at any time by signing in to your account to manage your preferences. Each email has a link to unsubscribe.

By clicking ‘Create my account’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Join our new commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies

Comments

Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in