Moscow airport bombing: DFAT issues updated Russia travel warning

By John Walton, January 25 2011
Moscow airport bombing: DFAT issues updated Russia travel warning

35 people have been killed and over 150 wounded in a suicide bombing at Moscow's Domodedovo airport. Australia's DFAT (Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade) has issued a warning for travellers to Moscow.

The attack took place in the international arrivals terminal at Moscow's Domodedovo Airport, 42 km to the south of the city. Domodedovo is the largest of the three airports serving Russia's capital alongside smaller Sheremetyevo and short-haul Vnukovo. Notably, flights on Aeroflot do not operate from Domodedovo.

"On 24 January 2011, an explosion blast occurred at Moscow's Domodedovo International Airport, which reportedly caused a large number of deaths and injuries. The Russian authorities have described the blast as an act of terror and have increased security at transport hubs. The explosion has caused flights to be diverted to other airports. You should check with your airline on any flight disruptions," DFAT advised.

DFAT also gave a wider warning: "We advise you to exercise a high degree of caution in Russia because of the threat of terrorist activity, particularly by Chechen separatists, and the level of criminal activity. Russian authorities continue to warn of the possibility of further terrorist attacks in Moscow."

In a statement this morning, DFAT also provided information for Australians looking to check on colleagues, friends and family in Moscow: "If you have concerns for the welfare of family and friends who you believe to have been present at Domodedovo Airport at the time of the blast, you should first attempt to contact them directly."

"If you are unable to contact them and still hold concerns for their welfare, you should call the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade's 24-hour Consular Emergency Centre on 1300 555 135," DFAT said.

The Consular Emergency Centre can also be reached on +61 2 6261 3305 from outside Australia.

Within Russia, Australians can seek assistance and information from the Australian Embassy in Moscow. The Embassy can be reached on +7 495 956 6070, and its address is 10A/2 Podkolokolny Pereulok, Moscow 109028.

Russian speakers can contact the airport directly for further information. From within Russia, the numbers are:

  • 8 (495) 644-40-66
  • 8 (499) 251-14-55
  • 8 (495) 626-37-07
  • 8 (495) 637-22-22 (EMERCOM)

From outside Russia, the numbers to dial are:

  • +7 (495) 644-40-66
  • +7 (499) 251-14-55
  • +7 (495 )626-37-07
  • +7 (495) 637-22-22 (EMERCOM)

The Russian phrase to ask if there are English speakers available is gavareetyeh pa angleeskee.

How flights are likely to be affected

While all flights in and out of Moscow are likely to see increased security, passengers flying into and out of Domodedovo airport (airport code DME) will see more disruption than those using Sheremetyevo airport (airport code SVO). 

We've put together a list of which international airlines use which Moscow airport, together with their connecting destinations. 

Domodedovo (DME)

  • British Airways to Heathrow
  • BMI to Heathrow
  • Cathay Pacific to Hong Kong
  • Emirates to Dubai
  • Etihad to Abu Dhabi
  • Japan Airlines to Tokyo Narita
  • Lufthansa to Frankfurt and Munich
  • Qatar to Doha
  • Singapore Airlines to Houston and Singapore
  • Swiss to Geneva and Zurich
  • Thai to Bangkok
  • United to Washington Dulles

Sheremetyevo (SVO)

  • Aeroflot (does not use Domodedovo)
  • Air China to Beijing
  • Air France to Paris CDG
  • China Eastern to Shanghai Pudong
  • China Southern to Guangzhou
  • Delta to Atlanta and New York JFK
  • Finnair to Helsinki
  • Hainan Airlines to Beijing
  • Hong Kong Airlines to Hong Kong
  • KLM to Amsterdam
  • Korean Air to Seoul
John Walton

Aviation journalist and travel columnist John took his first long-haul flight when he was eight weeks old and hasn't looked back since. Well, except when facing rearwards in business class.

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