Flights out of Russia booked out after Putin orders partial call-up of reserves

Flights from Moscow to the few foreign destinations still allowing visa-free travel for Russian citizens were completely sold out within hours of President Putin's announcement

FPJ Web DeskUpdated: Wednesday, September 21, 2022, 03:28 PM IST
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One-way flight tickets out of Russia began to rapidly begin selling out following Russian President Vladimir Putin's announcement of a partial military mobilisation to call-up 3,00,000 reservists to shore up Russia's manpower-depleted forces fighting a floundering war in Ukraine, Google Trends data showed.

According to Google Trends, searches for Aviasales -- Russia's most popular platform for purchasing flight tickets, with a monthly audience exceeding 15 million users -- spiked considerably immediately following Putin's announcement.

As per Aviasales' data, direct flights from Moscow to Istanbul in Turkey and Yerevan in Armenia -- both of which are two of the few destinations remaining to which Russians can fly visa-free -- were sold out on Wednesday, within hours of Putin's announcement.

Even some non-direct flights, such as those from Moscow to Georgia's capital Tbilisi were booked out. Meanwhile, flights to Dubai, a very popular destination among Russia's affluent, were selling for as much as US$ 5,000 -- roughly five times the wage earned by the average Russian worker.

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