Report: Russia may stop charter flights to Turkey

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Turkish airport employees welcome Russian tourists after arriving on a charter flight on July 9, 2016 at Antalya airport in Antalya. / AFP PHOTO

Russian airlines have been warned by the Federal Air Transport Agency (Rosaviatsiya) that charter flights to Turkey might be halted, Sputnik reported on Monday.

According to the report, Rosaviatsiya mentioned a “complicated political situation” in Turkey as the reason for the decision, in a letter sent to airline companies.

Maya Lomidze, executive director of the Russian Association of Tour Operators, told Sputnik that charter flights to Turkey have not been banned but that the warning might be realized in the context of possible negative scenarios following a referendum on April 16.

Charter flights between Russia and Turkey were halted after the Turkish Air Forces downed a Russian Su-24 in November 2015, for airspace violations.

But following a meeting between Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and his Russian counterpart, Vladimir Putin, in St. Petersburg on Aug. 16, the Russian government lifted the ban, and the first chartered plane carrying Russian tourists landed in Turkey on Sept. 2.

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