Rush on flights from Russia after recall of reservists
GDANSK (Reuters) – One-way fares from Russia rose on Wednesday amid strong demand after Vladimir Putin announced the immediate recall of 300,000 reservists.
The Russian President’s announcement in a televised address on Wednesday morning has raised fears among some military-age men that they will soon be banned from leaving the country.
However, Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu said the “partial mobilization” only applies to men with military experience, not conscripts or students.
The Kremlin declined to say whether the borders will be closed to those affected by the mobilization order, asking the public for patience while they await clarification of the law.
Meanwhile, Google Trends data showed an increase in searches for Aviasales, Russia’s most popular booking site.
Direct flights from Moscow to Istanbul in Turkey and Yerevan in Armenia, two countries where Russians can travel visa-free, were fully booked on Wednesday, according to Aviasales data.
Flights from Moscow to Istanbul via Turkish Airlines were either all booked or unavailable by 14:15 Moscow time (11:15 GMT) Sunday.
Some stopovers, including those from Moscow to Tbilisi, the capital of Georgia, were also unavailable, while the cheapest flights to Dubai cost more than 300,000 rubles (€5,029), about five times the monthly salary in Russia.
According to data from Google Flights, one-way fares to Turkey have reached 70,000 rubles, up from just over 22,000 rubles a week ago.
The director of the Russian Tourism Authority said that no restrictions have been imposed on foreign travel at this time.
Aeroflot, the national carrier, said it is not restricting ticket sales.
(Caleb Davis report, French version Augustin Turpin)
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