Russian Transport Ministry: No disruption in air travel

MOSCOW, RUSSIA (TASS) — Six Russian airlines continue performing international flights, and 29 foreign airlines continue to fly to the country, the Russian Transport Ministry said in a statement on Thursday.

"Despite the restrictions imposed by a number of foreign countries on using their airspace, Russian airlines continue performing international flights. Six Russian air carriers perform flights to Azerbaijan, Armenia, Belarus, Kyrgyzstan, the UAE, Tajikistan, Turkey, and Uzbekistan with a total frequency of around 250 flights per week,"

according to the statement.

Airlines use aircraft, which has no risk of being detained abroad, including 147 Russian Sukhoi Superjet 100 aircraft, for international flights, the ministry explained.

"Moreover, 29 airlines from Algeria, Armenia, Bahrein, Belarus, Venezuela, Israel, India, Iraq, Kazakhstan, Qatar, Kyrgyzstan, Morocco, Mongolia, the UAE, Serbia, Syria, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Turkey, and Uzbekistan fly to Russia as of today,"

the statement said.
A follow-up form has been launched on the government service portal Gosuslugi for Russian citizens facing difficulties in returning to Russia, the ministry added. "It may be used to send data on their whereabouts and information about return tickets, which will allow updating the lists of Russian citizens and helping them get back home," according to the statement.

On the other hand, Aeroflot has announced that it would start repatriating stranded Russian citizens from the Caribbean and Thailand on March 18. Also today, the carrier plans to repatriate Russian citizens from Turkey.

"Today and tomorrow, Aeroflot operates special flights from the cities of Turkey - Antalya, and Istanbul. From March 18, Aeroflot plans to start repatriating Russian citizens from Thailand and the Caribbean. The airline will rebook passengers on flights of other carriers on alternative routes," the airline says.
The company added that it has just carried about 1,000 Russians from Egypt and Sri Lanka to their homeland. Part of the repatriation program was completed by the Rossiya airline (part of Aeroflot Group). According to the airline’s press service, in total three flights were made on March 15 and 16. This aircraft returned from Egypt and Sri Lanka on March 17 bringing back 989 Russian citizens.

Russia's Transport Ministry also said Russian airlines were covering public demand for air travel in the country.

"Russian airlines cover public demand for air service. The practical experience that Russia’s civil aviation has gained amid the COVID-19 pandemic allowed taking necessary decisions for improving access to transportation and mobility of the population in Russia in the current conditions," the ministry said.
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