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Will Turkey Give the Guarantee That Russia Wants?

2.5 to 3.5 million Russian tourists are expected to take a vacation in Turkey this year. However, Russia, which has been subject to many sanctions, demands a guarantee so that the planes that will carry tourists are not seized in Turkey.

2.5 to 3.5 million Russian tourists are expected to take a vacation in Turkey this year. However, Russia, which has been subject to many sanctions, demands a guarantee so that the planes that will carry tourists are not seized in Turkey.

Russia, which has been bombarded with sanctions because of the Ukraine war, is now afraid that the planes that it will send its citizens on holiday to Turkey will be confiscated, and therefore seeks assurance from Turkey.

It has been announced that Turkish Airlines (THY) has suspended Yekaterinburg-Istanbul flights between April 16 and May 15. It has also been reported that THY’s flights from Ufa have also been cancelled.

Kommersant: Rosaviatsia made THY flight cancellations

The Russian newspaper Kommersant wrote that the flight cancellations were carried out by the Russian Federal Air Transport Agency. According to the newspaper’s report, 2.5 to 3.5 million Russian tourists are expected to take a vacation in Turkey this year. However, it is stated that Russia’s own planes can only transport 400 to 500 thousand of these tourists because of the Ukraine war.

Russia wants a guarantee from Turkey in order not to confiscate the leased planes in the fleets of both state and private airline companies.

‘It is difficult for Turkey to guarantee’

In 2019, 7.9 million tourists visited Turkey. Due to the pandemic, this figure had dropped to 4.9 million in 2021. Although the tourist expectation this year is 50 percent less than last year, the arrival of Russian tourists to Turkey by Russian charter flights brings with it some risks. Russian airlines have a total of 781 aircraft. 571 of these planes were leased from abroad. These leased planes can theoretically fly abroad, but there is a risk of the planes being confiscated if the owners demand it. That’s why Russia wants a guarantee from Turkey that the planes will not be confiscated. In this regard, it is in talks with the Ministry of Transport. However, Russian legal circles point out that it is not possible for Turkey to give such a guarantee alone. Russia has so far only given this guarantee to Kyrgyzstan.

Turkish Airlines plans to increase the number of weekly flights to 300 to transport Russian tourists. For this, an extra 25 planes are planned to fly to Russia. But Russia wants to share the cake jointly. Kommersant suggested that additional restrictions may be imposed on THY if the Turkish side does not give assurances. (Nationality)

Erdem Artan

Hello, I'm Erdem, I write content for Expat Guide Turkey every day. Don't forget to check it out!

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