Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev has recently signed a decree to change laws on chartered air transportation between Russia and Turkey.
Russia’s Ban on Charter Flights to Turkey
Turkey is a popular holiday destination among Russians. Charter flights to the Turkish Republic underwent limitations in November 2015. The reason was that the Turkey’s military shot down a Russian Su-24 air force jet near the border with Syria: two pilots were killed.
The relations between Russia and Turkey deteriorated after the mentioned incident. However, they began to improve after Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan expressed regret about the incident to Russian President Vladimir Putin, offering his condolences to the families of the pilots killed.
Later, President Putin signed a decree, ordering the government to drop restrictions on travel to Turkey. However, the recent instability in the country made the ban on charter flights be still in place. Then, the two leaders met on August 9, and Putin announced Moscow’s decision to lift the ban on charter flights to the Turkish Republic.
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Airline carriers have started filing requests to Rosaviatsiya, the Russian Federal Air Transport Agency, to carry out on-demand operations to Turkey. According to Russian Transport Minister Maksim Sokolov, local air authorities can provide necessary conditions for charter flights to the Turkish Republic. This refers also to issuing all relevant permissions.
Turkish tourism representatives warmly endorsed Russia’s decision. They expect to recover about 15% in losses, which they suffered after the ban on charter flights from Russia to Turkey. Both the Turkish and Russian leaders took a number of steps in this regard. In Turkey, they have already started to see the inflow in Russian arrivals, though the high season is coming to its end.
Cem Polatoglu, the spokesperson of the Tour Operators Platform, notes since the charter flights have not restarted yet, the arrivals still provide low figures. As for the scheduled flights, they have already resumed, and almost 200.000 Russian tourists are estimated to have visited Turkey through these flights. The number may reach 700.000 after the charter flights take up.