‘The price is simply astronomic’: tickets from Kazan to Turkey rise to half a million

Airlines and tour agencies cannot meet the demand for a flight to Turkey since the beginning of mobilisation

Prices for flights to Turkey have surged since the end of the last week as if somebody set fire to the fuse. Russian airlines launched new non-return tariffs for 742,900 rubles for a flight from Kazan to Istanbul during the next three days. While flight ticket sales will stop from 1 October. “This is the fee for the urgent flight to Europe for those who risk to be mobilised, not a beach holiday near the Black Sea coast,” representatives of the Tatarstan tourism sector explain the “crazy” price. A conscript’s chance of flying is ghostlike: no additional flights, while tickets were bought a week ago.

Price tsunami around tickets to Istanbul

It becomes harder every hour to fly from Kazan to Europe via Istanbul. Prices for vacant seats in flights have risen 10 times — to 428,000 rubles and more. At least, Russian S7 airline published such updated tariffs with flights from 28 to 29 September inclusively. It seems that S7 is actively launching these flights from Moscow with a connection in Kazan, though its flights weren’t in the summer schedule of Kazan international airport first. Probably, this circumstance influenced the dynamics of prices for a flight to Istanbul.

On Tuesday morning, one could see frequent offers from 150,000 rubles on the website of flight metasearch engine. By the end of the day, there were “reset” to 700,000 rubles and higher. So the S7 website sold one-way economy class tickets to Istanbul from 16.45 for 742,570 rubles. Moreover, the same tariff was applied for the next two days — 28 and 29 September. And the tariff was fixed lower only on 30 September for 371,530 rubles. After this date, tickets stopped being sold on the website. However, by 18.00, S7 tariffs “regained consciousness.” A one-way economy class ticket price fell to 369,370 rubles. During the next hour, this tariff was valid from 27 to 30 September inclusively. It is unknown for how long the prices will stay at this level.

Photo: realnoevremya.ru

The website of Aeroflot was also hit by a price tsunami. So on 27 September morning, tickets from Kazan to Istanbul cost from 150,000 rubles first. for instance, tickets for a flight on 27 September could be bought in the noon for 153,599 rubles, on 28 September — for 153,738, on 29 September — for 147,552. In the evening, it seemed they were replaced. The prices for the rest of tickets on 27 September rose to 484,891, on 28 September — to 312,724 rubles, on 29 September — to 234,061 rubles. Those who managed to buy the tickets in the afternoon felt they are lucky ones.

“Everything from Kazan was sold as early as a week ago”

Turkish Airlines continues performing regular flights from Kazan to Istanbul, but the tickets aren’t sold: “Flights are operated, but there aren’t seats. After the mobilisation was announced, panic broke out among young men. Everything from Kazan was sold as early as a week ago. It is hard to find a seat now,” Director General of AVT Azamat Sabirov told Realnoe Vremya.

In his opinion, the psychosis with the exodus among the youth is happening because no explanation was given.

“I think the coverage of the mobilisation process wasn’t well prepared. Therefore many understood it wrongly and started to flee the country,” he assumes. According to him, young men are buying tickets online themselves: “They come to us when they cannot find tickets in search aggregators.”

The expert doesn’t yet see signs of a fall in the run among young men: “What fall can we be talking about if young men started to cross the Georgian border by foot?” he is concerned.

30 September or earlier

Interlocutors of the newspaper say that young men are trying to leave the country until the end of the month. “Now it is such a moment when everybody wants to leave until 30 September,” says Sales Director of Salavat City Center Rustem Tarzimanov. After the announcement of partial mobilisation, he says, many men of conscription age turned to the agency looking for options to fly to Turkey. “This has been the most popular request in the last five days. Moreover, people are considering not only tickets but also they are ready to buy a tour to Antalya to emigrate. In fact, they don’t really need a tour but they are looking for any possibility to escape,” the entrepreneur said.

As a result, the agency bought tours for somebody, helped somebody to buy tickets. It was easier to help those who took actions during the first hours after the mobilisation was announced.

“During the first hours, a one-way ticket to Istanbul could be found for 80,000. They bought what was currently available. Somebody was lucky to get a simple flight ticket, somebody has to splash out on a tour with a flight from Moscow,” Rustem Tarzimanov said.

The president of Russia was expected to address the Federation Council on 30 September. The federal mass media said this citing sources in the Russian president’s administration. Many think Vladimir Putin can announce new life-changing decisions for the country.

Three flights from Kazan to Turkey a day

Why have the prices surged so seriously? “There were few flights before this too, and the tickets were expensive, and after the announcement of mobilisation, the price for the remaining flights turned out to be crazy. A lot of additional flights to Turkey are launched in Moscow, while the price is simply astronomic (up to half a million rubles). Additional flights haven’t been launched in Kazan,” Tarzimanov explained. According to tour operators, today just three flights are operated a day to Turkey, including to resorts. Therefore there is a deficit of tickets.

However, the interlocutor of the newspaper says that not the price but a free seat in the plane is the case: “There aren’t vacant seats in international flights for the next week, at least there weren’t any yesterday. One seat appears from time to time if somebody suddenly cancelled a trip, but such seats have to be grabbed,” he warned.

Photo: realnoevremya.ru

“So he took $9,900, what’s next?”

According to tour operators, the reasonable behaviour of the border service working at Kazan International Airport simplifies the situation. “People easily depart from our airport,” says head of STEN tour agency Leonid Press. “Conscription letters are still coming, but people are going abroad easily, nobody is detained. Here they follow official orders of the Russian Ministry of Defence.” According to him, no tourist he sent has been detailed since the announcement of partial mobilisation. “We certainly haven’t had anybody,” claimed Leonid Press.

On Tuesday, the mass media started to talk about the first restrictions on international flights. As a Telegram channel informed citing journalists, men at Roschino airport in Tyumen aren’t allowed to go abroad without a certificate from the commissariat. “When going abroad, a man must provide a certificate from the commissariat. This requirement doesn’t apply for domestic flights,” the press service of Roschino commented. Yesterday the press service of the airport disavowed this information.

Photo: realnoevremya.ru

“There are no restrictions on international flights from Tyumen,” said the press secretary of the airport in a talk with Realnoe Vremya.

“Nobody is doing what one wants like in Tyumen. Our tourists didn’t have problems either on our border or on the Turkish border,” added Leonid Press. However, he warned the youth from hasty decisions: “He went and took $9,900. More isn’t permitted. So he has been living for a month, two months, no money is left. What will this person do? Work? There are a lot of jobless people there too. Nobody waits for them. What will they do, sweep the streets? Also, now there is a problem of money transfer from Russia because Mir cards aren’t accepted in Turkey,” he noted.

Luiza Ignatyeva