I arrived at 0050 from Keflavík so I spent the night at the Air Inn hotel, situated quite literally at a half a minute walk from the terminal. The terminal looks like a medium sized railway station.
It's nice, compact, modern and efficient.
You can easily check-in online at the Belavia website. Anyway there was only one check-in desk and only one passenger.
I was through security in about 10 minutes and through immigration in two minutes.
The waiting area is compact with a few shops and cafes
There is some view on the appron
Belavia uses a 48-seater CRJ200 aircraft on this route which is one of the shortest international routes in Europe.
Cabin crew was friendly and welcoming as I entered the cabin. I liked their slightly retro uniforms. There were only 22 passengers onboard. There is only limited overhead beans for luggage, so larger hand luggage are kept in front of the seats. Legroom is adequate.
Belavia has an onboard magazine with a lot of advertising for casinos but I was more interested in checking out their route map.
Taking started at 0921 at good speed - I almost felt like taxiing with a Cessna. Take-off at 0923 for a scheduled departure time of 0930. Water was distributed about 7 minutes after take-off.
Nice views over the countryside
Landing at 0951, 14 minutes ahead of schedule. Total flight time between take-off and landing was only 28 minutes.
Bus to terminal building. I was through immigration in five minutes. You can now visit Belarus without a visa if you arrive by air to Minsk, you don't arrive from Russia, you have a passport of one of the 80 eligible countries (including all EU countries and USA), you're staying for not more than five days, and you have a health insurance that you can buy upon arrival (check the visa rules as they can change).
The airport is at about 42 kms from downtown Minsk. I booked a private transfer through a local travel agency for only 20 euros, but I know there is also a bus called 300E that goes to the city. As you leave the airport there are some nice old aircrafts along the route
A few words on visiting Minsk: it's a modern city with not a lot of sights but it is definitely interesting to see how people live here. As a tourist you can enjoy a clean, well maintained, safe city with hotels and especially restaurants that offer high standards at very reasonable prices. Of course, living in Minsk with a Belorussian salary must be very different.
Vilnius - VNO
Minsk - MSQ
You think there's nothing interesting about a short Belavia flight? I actually had good fun with the small aircraft, the speedy taxiing and the nice views. And I found that visiting Minsk for a short time is a hassle-free, interesting experience.
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