Over 150,000 Russian tourists may now be abroad - ATOR
MOSCOW. Feb 28 (Interfax) - More than 150,000 Russian tourists are currently abroad, including around 27,000 who are in countries from where they may encounter problems with flying back to Russia, Association of Tour Operators of Russia (ATOR) said in a statement.
"The analytical service of ATOR has calculated that, in all, there may be over 150,000 [Russian] tourists abroad currently, including more than 27,000 in countries (Europe, Caribbean countries, the United States, etc.) where there are problems with tourists' departure to Russia," it said.
In the current situation, tour operators on their own will be unable to repatriate all tourists, ATOR said.
"It is obvious that they will require assistance from regulators, such the Russian Agency for Tourism, but, above all, the Transport Ministry of Russia. The Transport Ministry will hold a special meeting tomorrow [on Monday] to discuss the current critical situation. Among other matters, it will deal with tourists' repatriation from countries which have closed their airspace" to Russian airlines, it said.
ATOR said that the information available to it indicates that agreements can be achieved with a number of European Union countries on providing special one-off corridors for such repatriation "humanitarian flights."