Russian tourists return to Turkish resort after flights resume
The first group of Russian tourists arrived in Turkey’s southern province of Antalya, as Moscow resumed full-scale air traffic with Turkey on June 22.
On April 15, Russia had temporarily suspended regular and charter flights with Turkey due to COVID-19 concerns. After a two-month break, Russian tourists started to come to Turkey again.
A Turkish Airlines plane, which departed from Vnukova Airport in the Russian capital Moscow, landed at Antalya airport at 02:40 GMT with 132 passengers.
The tourists got off the plane, passed through thermal cameras and entered the airport. After passport procedures, they moved to the hotels.
During the day, more than 12,000 tourists are expected to arrive in Antalya with 44 planes from Russia to Turkey.
Turkey is a major destination for Russian holidaymakers. The country welcomed 2.1 million Russians last year and some 6 million in 2019 before the pandemic, who accounted for some 12 percent of all foreign tourist arrivals in that year.
Russia suspended flights to Turkey from April 15 to June 1 due to a resurgence of coronavirus cases. The number of flights operated by Aeroflot and Turkish Airlines was limited to two per week on a reciprocal basis. On May 31, the crisis center said that Russia would extend the suspension of flights to Turkey and Tanzania until June 21 due to a complicated epidemiological situation with coronavirus in those countries.