TR Monitor

All eyes are on Russia

- FEHMI KOFTEOGLU

found two solutions to the aircraft presented by the RusTURKEY sia-Ukraine war. One of them is the seat allocation by Turkish Airlines to tour operators and the other is a change in the Civil Aviation regulation.

These are solutions that make the best of a bad situation, but they don’t meet expectatio­ns. It’s important to see how Russia approaches these solutions.

Russia has made regulation­s in the aviation sector, where it is struggling due to sanctions. It has included aircraft registered in other countries in its country license.

It has also put into use 100-seat small domestic aircraft and has accelerate­d the domestic production of wide-body aircrafts such as Boeing and Airbus.

It has also started to use the Sochi Internatio­nal Airport as a hub for internatio­nal flights. In the meantime, Russian Transport Minister Vitaly Savelyev said that the government has created a pool of 193 aircraft which can fly abroad and that 148 of them are wide-body Sukhoi Superjet-100 models for domestic airlines and 45 aircraft that can be used for internatio­nal flights.

However, Russian airline companies only acted after Turkey expressed its support for Turkish-origin tour operators that operate as local companies in Russia, saying that these enterprise­s will deteriorat­e the airline market balance.

Russian airline companies are carrying out lobby activities on behalf of the government, saying that Turkish airline companies should be able to their passengers and make a profit.

Lobbyists are demanding that the government pressure Turkey to give them their piece of the pie and if this isn’t done, they are demanding that the Federal Air Transport Agency review Turkish Airlines’ flight permission­s to Russia.

The problem could be solved if the Russian national flag carrier, Aeroflot, jointly carried out some flights with Turkish Airlines and guaranteed a seat quote for sales, according to lobbyists. Russia has made no official statement on the matter yet.

As expected, Russia will evaluate the issue from the perspectiv­e that it is a top source of tourism revenue for Turkey. It’s also interested in maintainin­g bilateral relations with Turkey given the situation in Ukraine.

That’s why the path pursued by Turkey in the recent period, including bettered U.S. relations, will reflect on tourism.

Turkey’s tourism market is entirely dependent on Russia - all eyes are on Moscow.

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