In a move, aggressively resisted by the RAF, the Russian Federation Air Force (Voyenno-Vozdushnye, Silly Rossii or ‘VVS’ for short) has attempted to muscle in on the lucrative budget air routes normally dominated by firms like ‘Easyjet’ and ‘Discount Flying Death Tubes’.
Using their superior reputation for customer welfare, the VVS will offer a range of services including military issue ‘nibbles’, stewardesses in camo paint and the chance to see a Tupolev Tu-95 strategic bomber ‘close up’.
According to the British Defence Ministry, UK jets have had to intercept more than 100 Russian aircraft last year but, on the plus side, have ‘successfully destroyed’ most of Ryanair’s fleet. The RAF have long held a shoot to kill policy for no-frills carriers, but admits that VVS offers a more upmarket alternative as only the VVS has enhanced avionics systems, air-to-air missiles, nuclear capability and lemon-soaked napkins.
Russian encroachment over British airspace is one of a series of publicity stunts to promote their new air service. For many it is reminiscent of the Cold War, when Russia challenged the US monopoly on cheap coach trips to Blackpool. The loss of the Soviet charabanc in a ‘freak’ Lancashire ditch accident was seen as pivotal moment in the fall of the Berlin Wall and removal of statues of Stalin holding a toffee apple.
All VVS assigned seating will be in the ‘standing up’ configuration, while in-flight audio and video entertainment will be permanent re-runs of ‘Battleship Potemkin’. A VVS spokesman said: ‘We will offer myriad destinations, which OK, let’s be honest, all end in the Ukraine. Passengers will not have to worry about long checking-in queues on arrival; we’ll just strap them to a bomb and drop them out at 5,000ft.’