Russian carrier Aeroflot resumes flights to Istanbul, Antalya

Russian flagship carrier Aeroflot, which has halted its international flights due to the sanctions imposed on the country as a result of its invasion of Ukraine, is to resume its scheduled flights from Moscow directly to Istanbul and the southern Turkish city of Antalya as of Saturday.

Being the largest airline company in Russia, Aeroflot suspended flights about two months ago.

Initially, the company will organize two daily reciprocal flights to Istanbul Airport and one to Antalya Airport. The company said that the number of flights will increase to three for Istanbul and two for the Mediterranean province soon.

It added that the scheduled flights to Istanbul and Antalya will be operated from Sheremetyevo Airport in Moscow and that the flights will be made with an Airbus A330 wide-body passenger aircraft.

Aeroflot, which has narrowed its range of action due to the countries that closed their airspace to Russia, decided to suspend most of its international flights, except for some routes on March 8.

Russia is among the top tourist markets for Turkey’s tourism industry.

Although the country is seeing a significant rebound in its crucial industry as foreign arrivals continue to gain pace and income continues to surge, Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine is expected to impact the arrivals from Turkey’s top tourist sources, just as the sector continues to recover from the impact of measures to combat the spread of COVID-19 since 2020.

The number of foreign visitors arriving in Turkey jumped over 151% from January through March from a year earlier to around 4.9 million, according to the most recent data.

Arrivals from Russia dipped 48% year-over-year to 114,384. In contrast, the number of Ukrainians arriving in Turkey jumped nearly 30% to 66,233, the data showed.

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