Turkish carriers to fly most Russian tourists this season

Turkish carriers to fly most Russian tourists this season

Turkish carriers to fly most Russian tourists this season

Russian authorities have allowed Turkish carriers to launch more flights between the two countries as peak tourism season nears, with two-thirds of flights being allocated to Turkish commercial airlines.

Russia is facing difficulties arranging enough flights to carry tourists due to the sanctions, which were imposed on Moscow amid the war in Ukraine.

Russian authorities turned to Turkish carriers in the face of the mounting pressure from the tourism industry and social tensions, Russian daily Kommersant reported.

Starting June 1, Turkish carriers will be able to hold 438 flights per week to Russia, while Russian airlines will launch weekly 177 flights to Russia.

Russia has a large number of foreign leased Airbus and Boeing aircraft, and owners of those planes want them back, which causes a shortage of planes to operate lights. There are also risks that those leased aircraft may be seized when they arrive in Turkey.

In the face of this risk, Moscow is seeking guarantees from Ankara that Russian planes will not be seized, according to the daily.

Some 4.7 million Russians visited Turkey last year, but only 3 million holidaymakers from this country are expected to travel to Turkey this year.

Amid the war in Ukraine, ticket prices for flights between Russia and Turkey have rocketed to record highs. A roundtrip ticket from Russia to Turkey is now sold at 100,000 rubles (around 26,000 Turkish Liras or $1,600).

As more flights will be launched, the price of tickets on this route is expected to decline to around 30,000 rubles (8,000 liras).

Federal Tourism Agency head Zarina Doguzova said last week that, through the joint efforts of her agency and the Transport Ministry, additional charter flights to Turkey were approved for the period to July 1, Interfax News Agency reported.

“For the May holidays, 290 flights went to Turkey each week. Last week another more than 450 flights per week to Turkey were approved to July 1,” Doguzova said on May 18.

Due to sanctions, travel companies’ debts to tourists in foreign destination have soared to 490 billion rubles after dropping to 5 billion rubles by the start of 2022 as the industry recovered from the impact of the pandemic, she said.