Russia tells airlines ‘it may suspend charter flights to Turkey’
MOSCOWRussia may suspend charter flights to Turkey due to the “difficult political situation” there, the Federal Air Transport Agency (Rosaviatsiya) has warned airlines companies, a source at one of the companies told Reuters and TASS.
“Rosaviatsiya sent a telegram to Russian airlines stating that suspension of charter flights Russian airlines make to Turkey’s airports is possible,” he said, as quoted by TASS on April 11.
A potential suspension of charter flights is related to a complicated political situation in Turkey, according to the source.
It follows from the text of the telegram available with TASS that Rosaviatsiya asked airlines “to undertake required measures when planning existing charter programs.”
Rosaviatsiya declined to comment, according to Reuters.
If Russia goes ahead with the suspension, it could seriously hurt Turkey’s already battered tourism industry, which relies heavily on visitors from Russia.
Previously Russia suspended charter flights with Turkey in late October 2015 in the wake of a jet crisis.
The Russian Kommersant newspaper reported that, according to preliminary data, Russian travel agents have already sold up to 400,000 package tours to Turkey after the two countries started to normalize bilateral ties.
In total, it said 3 million Russian tourists were expected to visit this year.