The thing is that Motor Sich does not only operate the Antonov 24 but also Antonov 74, Anotnov 140 and one Yakolev 40. All as rare as the Antonov 24. I already flew the Antonov 24 with Lao Aviation back in 1996 and with Air Koryo in 2012. So I hoped they would operate any other type for the flights I booked from Kiev Zhuliany (IEV) to Zaporizhia (OZH) and from there onward to Minsk (MSQ).

IEV-OZH (12 November 2018)

After having spent some time in Kiev I took an Uber from the center to Zhuliany Airport. The small Terminal D is being used for Domestic flights . Beside the two check-in desk and a toilet there are no facilities but the main Terminal A are quite near. After boarding the bus took us to the parking bay of the aircraft where UR-MSI was ready for the flight to Zaporizhia. The flight took around one hour and was rather unspectacular, with the exception of sitting in a 45 years old aircraft. There was a small snack and a cup of tea was served.

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Boarding at the Gate area.

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Boarding UR-MSI for the IEV-OZH flight.

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Sister ship UR-47297 departing for Odessa.

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Window view while taxing.

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Cabin view of UR-MSI. The plane is an Antonov An-24RV. Serial, 27307608. Line Number, 076-08. Originally delivered to Aeroflot Soviet Airlines on 19 April 1972.

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Snack box for the flight from Kiev to Zaporizhia.

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Arrived at OZH.

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Another Antonov 24 parked at the airport.

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Zaporizhia terminal building.

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The flight arrived at Zaporizhia at 21:15 and the next one would leave the next morning at 6:45 only. So I booked a hotel in town. As per the hotel a taxi would cost roughly 150 UAH (5 EUR). The taxi experience there was rather unpleasant. The potential driver asked for 20 USD initially. When I insisted to 150 UAH he asked me to wait for the next flight which arrived 10 minutes later. Since I was unable to get an Uber I didn't have much choice. The driver was unsuccessful in getting another passenger and after a long wait in the cold he finally took me to the Teatralniy Hotel. The hotel offers great value for the money and the staff was friendly and extremely helpful. I ordered the taxi to go back to the airport in the early morning and enjoyed the few hours sleep.

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A comfortable bed for the short night at Teatralniy Hotel. 

OZH-MSQ (13 November 2018)

The taxi back to the airport at 4:45 was ready and he only asked 150 UAH. The hotel provided me a generous breakfast box which I enjoyed at the small terminal while waiting until the check-in opens.

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Check-in area at Zaporizhia Airport.

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Check-in area at Zaporizhia Airport - still closed.

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Its here where I realised that the next flight to MSQ would not be the Antonov 74 or Yak 40 I have hoped for. Its "only" a rare Antonov 24 (UR-BXC) which is being tanked here..

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Boarding UR-BXC for the flight to Belarus.

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Cabin of UR-BXC on this early morning flight which was packed.

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Please do not remove from cabin - Motor Sich Anotnov 24 safety instruction card.

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Even though I tried to check-in online but it didn't work as I booked the Belavia code ticket. I couldn't get a window seat. The neigbor took some nice pictures and shared them with me.

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Beautiful sky on the way from Ukraine to Belarus.

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The cabin crew uniform is rather unique. It looks like a dress for a James Bond villain.

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Onboard service was a small sandwich, a cookie and some hot tea (with lemon).

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Arrived at Minsk and the "soviet airplane" experience came to an end. Even though I only flew the Antonov 24 and not the other types I still had the possibility to fly a really rare aircraft from the Soviet period. Both planes I flew, the UR-MSI and UR-BXC are 45 years old.