The Federal Air Transport Agency (Rosaviatsia) has asked domestic airlines to explore the possibility of operating year-round flights to Southeast Asia from various airports in the country.
Rosaviatsia noted that at the initial stage it will be Thailand, Laos, Vietnam and Malaysia, which will join the programmes of charter flights linking Russia with China and India, as reported by the newspaper “Izvestia”.
According to Yuri Barzykin, vice-president of the Russian Union of Travel Industry, the need to expand the geography of travelling is due to the growing demand for trips to Russia from Asian tourists.
"With the introduction of a collective visa-free regime for China from 1 August 2023, tourist traffic will increase significantly," added Barzykin.
According to the vice-president of the Russian Union of Travel Industry, it is quite likely that the Russian government may introduce such a regime for India as well in the prospective autumn. And while the flow to other Southeast Asian countries is small, it could be boosted by the introduction of e-visas for more than 50 territories. An increase in demand is also observed in the opposite direction - travelling to Asia among Russians, noted Barzykin.