Tour operator Tui will organize flights from Madeira and Sofia to repatriate Russian tourists who were stranded in Europe with the suspension of air connections due to the invasion of Ukraine, reported the Russian agency TASS.
Russian authorities said they are in talks to organize repatriation flights with countries that have closed their airspace to Russia, as part of the sanctions enacted against Moscow.
Tui’s tour operator in Russia will organize special flights from Bulgaria’s capital on March 4 and from Madeira on March 7, Russian federal air transport and tourism agencies said, quoted by TASS.
“Efforts are underway to agree special humanitarian flights with countries that have closed their airspace to us. These countries include Bulgaria, Hungary, France, Cyprus, Switzerland, Germany and the Netherlands,” said the Ministries of Foreign Affairs and Transport. and Russian federal agencies in a joint statement.
“Work continues on an ongoing basis,” the statement reads, according to TASS.
Tour operators Anex Tour, Pegas Touristik and Coral Travel are working to ensure the return of tourists stranded in Latin American countries, federal agencies said.
Russian tourists were advised to consider options for returning to Russia via third countries.
“Package tourists need to maintain contact with their tour operators in order to obtain information on all possible changes in a timely manner,” the authorities added in the statement.
The European Union (EU) and several countries have closed their airspace to Russian planes, as part of sanctions against Russia for invading Ukraine, in an operation that began a week ago.
Based in Germany, the TUI group includes travel agencies, five airlines and more than 400 hotels worldwide, according to information on its institutional website.