On Sunday, Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev approved the resolution on lifting the ban on Charter flights between Russia and Turkey. Earlier on Saturday, the draft document was submitted to the government, the Ministry of transport. The suspension of Charter flights between the two countries lasted from December last year after Turkish air force shot down a Russian su-24, carrying out a combat mission in Syria. On their recovery, the two presidents agreed during a telephone conversation in late June. On 9 August, on a press-conferences the President of Russia Vladimir Putin announced the imminent resumption of Charter flights to Turkey.
“Airlines have started filing in the Federal air transport Agency to carry out occasional flights to the points of the Turkish Republic”, — said the Minister of transport of Russia Maxim Sokolov, whose words are reported on the website of the Ministry of transport, which appeared after the publication of the decree of the government. The Russian aviation authorities are ready to provide the necessary conditions for the implementation of Charter flights to Turkey, including to start issuing appropriate permits of the Russian airlines is added to the message.
For the first half of 2016, Russian tourist flow to Turkey decreased by 87.4% to 183,8 thousand people, according to the Ministry of culture and tourism of the country. The end of June was even worse: this month, Turkey was visited by 93% fewer Russians than a year ago, when they entered the country 652,7 thousand.
Found a replacement
Many of these tourists have shifted to the resorts of Krasnodar region and the Crimea. Such, according to the company Tez Tour, was about 20%. Indeed, according to the Ministry of resorts and tourism of Crimea, the number of tourists to the Peninsula for the first half of 2016 increased by 21% to 1.57 million tourists. According to the administration of Krasnodar region, the local resorts during the same period, visited by 5% more tourists than a year earlier, or 6.3 million people. Download hotels and resorts on the black sea coast reached almost 90%, on the Azov — more than 50%, said earlier the Vice-Governor Veniamin Kondratiev.
The unavailability of a holiday in Turkey allowed domestic hoteliers to raise prices to stay in this season by 15-20%, estimated earlier, the President of the Alliance of hoteliers of Russia U PRO and the General Director of the management company U PRO Management (develops a network of hotels Bregutta in the Crimea), Tamara Black. Most likely, in its opinion, next year will not be such a huge demand for Russian resorts, which will allow the market to return to normal condition. In these circumstances, the hotels will form a pricing policy more carefully, I’m sure Black.
On 1 July, the day after the cancellation of Vladimir Putin’s ban on the sale of tours to Turkey, this country has become the most popular user requests on the service “Yandex.Travel”, which aggregates the offers from tour operators. For three days, from 29 June to 1 July, the number of requests for tours to Turkey increased by 4 times, told RBC representatives of “Yandex”, without disclosing absolute numbers. However, areas such as Crimea and Sochi, began to interest the Russians in 3 times less.
Ripped off season
The lack of Charter flights, which are 30% less regular, prevented the restoration of good sales. However, the news of the lifting of the ban on Charter flights to Turkey, market participants believe long overdue. “This weekend with resorts returns the biggest category of consumers — families with children, — said the representative of the Russian Union of travel industry Irina Tyurina. — First of September children go to school. The season in Turkey will end in October, but now because of lower demand and so prices fall.”
In August, Turkey was the fourth most popular destination after Greece, Cyprus and Tunisia, says the development Director of a network of travel agencies Global Travel Sergey Samokhvalov. “Now the difference in price between a holiday in Greece and Turkey almost there,” he says. — As soon as in Turkey will fly Charter flights, prices in relation to Greece will be reduced and the direction will be in great demand.” According to Tyurina, Charter flights are able to reduce the price of tours to Turkey about 20-30% compared to current prices.
Thanks to the attractive prices in September, the Turkey will go in 2-2,5 times more tourists than in August, I’m sure Samokhvalov. Even if the demand for tours to Turkey compared to August will grow, still it will be about two times less than in September last year, said General Director of “NTK Intourist” Victor Topolkaraev. “In my estimation, in September Turkey can visit 100-150 thousand Russians, while in previous years, in September, flew to Turkey 200-300 thousand people,” he says. — Many of those who wanted to escape, have already done it, so expect a substantial increase in tourist arrivals to Turkey in September compared to August.
Airlines will not be difficult to find “extra” planes that you can refocus on Charter flights to Turkey, agree experts. “In Sochi, Simferopol in September, I will fly less tourists, so about 30% of the aircraft that flew in these areas, it will be possible to send to Turkey,” says Samokhvalov. Dramatically to move the planes from one direction to another airline will not, and will do it gradually, focusing on the flow of tourists, said Topolkaraev.