Russian citizens eagerly waiting for the end to a government ban on air travel to Turkey as the summer season, critical for the latter's coronavirus-battered tourism industry, is due to start, Trend reports citing Daily Sabah.
A one-and-half-month ban on flights between Russia and Turkey will expire on June 1, yet uncertainty over whether Moscow will allow its citizens to travel is causing concerns among the industry as well as tourists.
The Russian government, however, has denied reports that the ban had been extended until the end of June.
The suspension has already dealt an early setback for Turkey, a top tourist destination for millions of Russians every year, and the tourism sector that is attempting to recover from a year of pandemic restrictions as new COVID-19 cases fall.
Even though their plans for April to June have been canceled, many Russian tourists remain committed to their bookings and are looking for alternative dates to travel to Turkey, according to Russian tourism industry representatives.
Turkey welcomed 2.1 million Russians last year and some 6 million in the year before the pandemic.
Turkish officials were in Russia’s capital last week to hold meetings on tourism and resuming air travel. Russia is expected to send a delegation to assess measures taken by Turkey to protect airports, hotels and other tourist locations from the coronavirus before deciding on when to lift its flight ban.
Officials have also said the calendar regarding air travel could be unveiled at the end of May.