Russian PM inks decree on abolition of ban on charter flights to Turkey
MOSCOW/İZMİRRussian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev signed a decree that lifted the ban on charter air transportation between Russia and Turkey on Aug. 28, as Russian media outlets reported.
The corresponding document was published on the website of the Cabinet of Ministers, they added. The ban on charter flights canceled from Aug. 28.
Russia’s air communication with Turkey was closed since last November after a Turkish fighter jet shot down a Russian Su-24 bomber.
In August, after Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan apologized for the downed Russian bomber and after talks between the leaders of Russia and Turkey, both sides made a decision to start restoring bilateral ties.
Turkish tourism sector praises Russia’s moves
Russia’s move has been highly praised by Turkish tourism representatives, as they believed that they can recover some 15 percent of their losses in the Russian market after the flights begin.
The spokesperson of the Tour Operators Platform, Cem Polatoğlu, said that the move mattered a lot, although the hot tourism season was about to end, as Anadolu Agency reported on Aug. 28.
Saying that the number of Russian tourists visiting Turkey, which hit 4.5 million in 2014, saw a dramatic drop in the last two years due to the economic problems in Russia and then the diplomatic crisis between the two countries, he noted: “With a number of steps taken by the Turkish and Russian leaders, we have started to see the inflow in Russian arrivals, although the hot season is about to end. As the charter flights have not resumed yet, the arrivals are still in low figures. Around 200,000 Russian tourists are estimated to have visited Turkey through the scheduled flights, which had already resumed… This figure may reach 700,000 after the charter flights restart,” he noted, adding that the sector could recover around 15 percent of losses in revenue.