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ALASKA AIRLINES RESUMES RUSSIAN SERVICE JUNE 7; ADDS CHINA, VLADIVOSTOK TO TOUR PACKAGE OPTIONS

 ALASKA AIRLINES RESUMES RUSSIAN SERVICE JUNE 7;
 ADDS CHINA, VLADIVOSTOK TO TOUR PACKAGE OPTIONS
 SEATTLE, Dec. 18 /PRNewswire/ -- Alaska Airlines will begin its second season of service to the Russian Far East on June 7. Alaska will offer three flights a week at least through September, flying Boeing 727 aircraft non-stop from Anchorage to Magadan with continuing service to Khabarovsk. Service on a year-round basis is under consideration.
 Alaska, the first and only U.S. airline to offer regularly scheduled service from the West Coast to the Soviet Union, concluded its first season of Russian operations in August. The load factor on the route -- nearly 60 percent -- exceeded expectations, prompting the carrier to expand the 1992 season.
 Tour packages for '92 have been expanded to include options for Vladivostok and the northern Chinese city of Harbin. All include round-trip airfare, ground transportation, hotel accommodations, sightseeing, meals and assistance in securing necessary documentation.
 There are five packages:
 -- Six days/five nights in Magadan and Khabarovsk. Price from Anchorage: $1,418 per person.
 -- Eight days/seven nights in Magadan, Khabarovsk and Harbin. Price from Anchorage: $1,899 per person.
 -- Eight days/seven nights in Khabarovsk and Irkutsk. Includes 2 1/2 days on the Trans-Siberian Railroad. Price from Anchorage: $1,859 per person.
 -- Eight days/seven nights in Magadan, Khabarovsk and Vladivostok. Includes one day on the Trans-Siberian Railroad. Price from Anchorage: $1,859.
 -- Ten days/nine nights in Magadan, Khabarovsk and Irkutsk. Includes 2 1/2 days on the Trans-Siberian Railroad. Price from Anchorage: $2,069 per person.
 Prices are based on double occupancy rooms.
 Airfare by itself also is available. The lowest round-trip fares -- requiring a 21-day advance purchase -- are $1,100 per person, Anchorage-Magadan and $1,500, Anchorage-Khabarovsk.
 Magadan, a city of 150,000 on the Sea of Okhotsk, is about 2,000 miles southwest of Anchorage. Flight time between the two cities is more than four hours. Closed for decades to foreigners and other Soviets, Magadan is the gateway to some of the most infamous of Stalin's labor camps.
 Khabarovsk, a major commercial center and river port of 650,000 people, is another 1,000 miles south of Magadan, near the Chinese border. The city is a popular destination for tourists from Japan and other parts of the Orient.
 Irkutsk is offered via sleeper car on the Trans-Siberian Railroad. Irkutsk has a population of about 600,000 and is known as the "Paris of Siberia" because of its tree-lined streets, parks and architecture. The city is 40 miles from Lake Baikal, one of the country's natural and scenic wonders.
 Vladivostok, one day by train from Khabarovsk, is the nation's principal ice-free port and a center of trade. The city has a picturesque setting punctuated by hillside terraces and deep coastal indentations.
 Harbin, a political, cultural and economic center, is a provincial capital of nearly three million people in northeastern China, the area formerly known as Manchuria. It is just more than one hour by air from Khabarovsk and will be offered by Alaska through Air China.
 The summer climate of all five cities is mild, with Khabarovsk, Irkutsk and Harbin given to occasional periods of hot temperatures. Colorful open markets, museums, war memorials, ornately painted 200-year-old log houses, scenic land- and seascapes and gracious hosts are among the region's highlights.
 Plans call for flights to depart on Sundays, Tuesdays and Thursdays. They will originate in Seattle and make short stops in Anchorage before continuing to Russia. Flights will cross the international dateline and arrive on the days following. Flights back to the U.S. will arrive on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. The Boeing aircraft will seat 136 in a two-class configuration, and Alaska Mileage Plan members will earn frequent flier credits on the route just as they would on any other flight.
 Additional information on ticket and package purchases can be obtained from travel agents or the Alaska Airlines Vacations desk, 800-468-2248.
 -0- 12/18/91
 /CONTACT: Greg Witter of Alaska Airlines, 206-431-3799/
 (ALK) CO: Alaska Airlines ST: Washington IN: AIR SU: PDT


JH -- SE013 -- 3246 12/18/91 08:00 EST
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Date:Dec 18, 1991
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