Travelling to Russia for the 2018 FIFA World Cup
From 14 June until 15 July the world’s biggest nation will be hosting the world’s most widely viewed sporting event. Russia is a captivating and friendly country and there will be plenty to see and do across the 11 host cities in addition to watching the footy. However, there will be also some general cultural, legal and travel considerations for many fans and first-timers visiting Russia.
For one thing, Russia’s vast size will mean considerable distances between each of the host cities, so be prepared for some long journeys. Many of the host cities have never hosted international events like the World Cup, and are still readying new stadiums and transport infrastructure. With increased demand on flights, trains and hotels, you would be well advised book everything early in-order to avoid any disappointment.
Passport and Visa Considerations
Your passport needs to be valid for a minimum period of six months after the expiry date of your visa or “Fan-ID” – this is the special permit available to holders of World Cup tickets. Your Fan-ID acts as a multiple entry and exit visa to and from Russia. You may enter Russia using your Fan-ID from 4 June until 15 July and you must leave by 25 July.
Note that passenger visas are not available on arrival. Crew visas for private charter flights must be applied for at least 24hrs in advance.
Upon entry to Russia you must sign a migration card, which will be produced at passport control. Two copies will be created, one to be retained by immigration. Make sure to keep hold of your copy as you will need it when exiting Russia.
Your passport should be signed before you travel. It has been known for travellers who failed to sign their new passports to be turned away and denied entry into Russia.
Register at each host city within 24 hours of arrival. Normally this will be done by your hotel or guest house but it is wise to make sure because the responsibility ultimately rests with you.
Carry your passport with you at all times. Russian police have the authority to stop people and request identity and travel documents at any time.
Restrictions have been placed on some social media platforms, such as LinkedIn and Telegram, and access to other internet sites can be unreliable.
Nothing to Declare
Russian border officials do not restrict personal electronic devices but can demand to inspect any electronic device (including any installed software) on departure.
If your medicines contain anabolic steroids, analgesic, androgens or other sex hormones, barbiturate, codeine, psycho-stimulants, sibutramine, or other restricted substances, you will need to present a doctor’s letter upon entry to confirm your medical requirement. A notarised translation into Russian is also required.
It is illegal to attempt to leave the country with antiques, even if they were legally purchased from licensed vendors. You will need certificates indicating they do not have historical or cultural value to Russia. These certificates can be obtained from the Russian Ministry of Culture.
No Harm no Foul
As anywhere, most trouble can be avoided by behaving respectfully and staying aware of your surroundings.
Tourists are advised to keep their passports on them at all times, though it is unlikely you will be stopped and asked for ID. Reportedly, many still choose to keep their passports at their hotel, and take just a photocopy with them despite risking a fine for doing so. Avoid carrying large sums of cash.
Money and Other Matters
- The official Russian currency is the Ruble (RUB). One rouble is made up of 100 Kopeek. The exchange rate, at time of writing, is around 62 RUB to the US dollar, 72 RUB to the Euro, and about 83 RUB to 1 Pound sterling
- It is illegal to pay directly for general transactions with dollars or euros
- Only change money at banks, hotels and recognised exchange kiosks. You will need to show your passport and visa to change money
- Road safety is generally quite poor; remember that the European Health Insurance card (EHIC) is not valid in Russia, so travel insurance is essential
- Tap water is not drinkable throughout the Russian Federation but bottled mineral water is widely available
- Russian outlets take round 2-pin Euro plugs. A flat Euro plug adapter will not fit. Current is 220V.
- Foreigners are not permitted to cross the land border between Russia and Belarus (including by train)
- In the event of an emergency call 112
- For consular assistance, if you lose your passport for example, call +7 495 956 7200
- Additional advice can be read through the UK government #BeOnTheBall initiative which can be found here
Spending a couple of hours learning the Cyrillic alphabet can prove immensely useful; it will help you to decipher street signs and metro stations, among other things. For example, when you know that the Russian word “PECTOPAH” actually reads “RESTORAN” – it becomes much clearer that the translation is RESTAURANT.
Useful Russian Phrases
Good health / Cheers
What’s your name?
My name is…
Entrance / exit
Please help me
I don’t speak Russian
Do you speak English?
What is your Wi-Fi password?
“kak vas zovut?”
“vkhod” / “vykhod”
“pazhalusta pomogite mne”
“Ya ne gavaryu pa-russki”
“vy gavarite pa-angliyski?”
“kakoy u vas parol ot vay-fai?”
For Those Who Wish to Visit Russia in 2018, But Not For the World Cup
The World cup is only one month but be taking place over particularly popular travel dates for both Moscow and St Petersburg. It would likely be better to visit after the World Cup is over, from July 18 up until roughly the end of October. Demand for Russia as a destination does tend to remain high throughout the year, and it is always advisable to plan ahead, booking as far in advance as possible.
To book a charter flight through HADID or request additional information simply contact email@example.com or call us on +971 (0) 4 205 3000.
We can arrange your trip from start to finish, hassle free. Our passenger services include concierge, in-flight catering, hotel accommodation services, helicopter or limousine services to and from the airport and personal security, among other services.
Operator Considerations – Russia 2018
Make sure to secure all permits, visas, HOTAC and on ground transportation arrangements as soon as possible. It will also be important to check fuel requirements as only TS-1 is available in Russia.
Permits and Cabotage
You will need to attain a landing permit. Lead times vary depending on frequency of flights and passenger capacity.
For flights with 19 passenger seats and less than 10 people on board and which are completing less than 4 flights there per month, the standard average lead time for permits is 24hrs. With over 19 passenger seats, more than 10 on board, or for those making over 4 flights per month the average is 2 weeks of lead time. With increased traffic during the 2018 World Cup, be prepared for permit lead times to increase.
Russian authorities do intend to allow foreign airlines access to select domestic routes during the period of the 2018 FIFA World Cup. The transport ministry has proposed temporarily lifting the restriction to grant foreign airlines cabotage rights so they may transport passengers within the country during the FIFA World Cup period. This is not set in stone however, and it is better to be prepared.
Normally speaking, under Russian Federation law, non-domiciled carriers may only conduct charter flights between Russian cities if the aircraft have fewer than 19 seats.
You will need the following documentation:
- Pilots licenses
- Worldwide insurance and 3rd party liability
- Aircraft noise certificate indicating MTOW
- AOC (for charter aircraft)
- Registration and airworthiness certification
- Aircraft maintenance history
- Crew and passenger information
- Purpose of flight
- Route and schedule
- Cargo details, if any
- Certificates must be obtained from the Russian Ministry of Culture if attempting to leave the country with items such as artwork, icons, rugs, samovars, military medals or antiques.
Slot requests should have been submitted at least 30 days in advance of the World Cup and will likely not be confirmed until 2 to 3 weeks prior to the opening event. Slots are always required at the Major airports such as Moscow Domodedovo. During the World Cup the smaller airfields will also require them.
Overnight parking or parking for more than 2 hours is available only to flights operated in the interests of the World Cup (teams, equipment, FIFA officials etc.) Penalties will be issued for non-compliance.
Airport slot deviation is typically ± 30 minutes for short to mid-range flights and ± 45 minutes or for longer haul flights.
NOTAMS list the requirements and restrictions for Russian Federation airports. Make sure to keep abreast of the NOTAMS for each required destination. www.notam.org is one useful place to monitor for notices.
You can rely on us to organise all necessary flight permits and flight planning, ground handling, fuel arrangements amongst other operator and passenger services. With nearly forty years of experience in aviation, we understand exactly what’s needed. Our team are constantly updating information and systems so we stay up-to-date with all regulatory developments in the aviation industry and we are proud of our on-going professional relationships with Civil Aviation Authorities worldwide.
If you have questions, requests or if you need further information, please contact: firstname.lastname@example.org or call us on +971 (0) 4 205 3000