Russia resumes flights to five countries

Russia resumes flights to five countries

Russia is officially resuming air service with Mexico, Iceland, Malta, Portugal, and Saudi Arabia starting Tuesday after flights were suspended amid the coronavirus pandemic last spring, according to a respective decision taken in the middle of May by the response center on prevention of delivery and spread of the novel coronavirus infection on Russian territory.

In particular, Russian air carriers have been allowed to perform two flights per week from Moscow to Reykjavik (Iceland) and Valletta (Malta), three flights — to Cancun (Mexico), Lisbon (Portugal), and Jeddah (Saudi Arabia), as well as one flight per week to Jeddah from Grozny and Makhachkala. Consequently, foreign companies will be able to perform the same number of flights to Moscow and Grozny under the mutuality principle. Moreover, the response center has agreed on the expansion of the quota on flights to South Korea, Finland, and Japan from the Russian regions.

The resumption of air service with those countries is formal so far as only Azur Air has announced readiness to start flights to Mexico, with no Russian companies planning to open flights to other countries. The company has announced plans to open flights to Cancun twice per week starting May 29. The entry to Mexico is officially open, though travelers may be requested to have a COVID-19 medical check and put on lockdown if symptoms are identified.

S7 planned to restart flights to Iceland (prior to suspension of flights the airline was the only carrier flying to the country), but later it dropped the idea due to the obligatory lockdown for those arriving in Iceland, chair of S7 Airlines board of directors Tatyana Fileva told reporters earlier. The company suggests that such a condition may substantially affect the flight's uplift and thus make them commercially unprofitable.

To date, international flights from Russia have been resumed to Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, India, Kazakhstan, Vietnam, Venezuela, Greece, Germany, Singapore, Serbia, Ethiopia, Qatar, Kyrgyzstan, South Korea, Egypt, the United Arab Emirates, Switzerland, Sri Lanka, Uzbekistan, Finland, Japan, the Maldives, Cuba, and the Seychelles. Air service with Britain has been suspended again since December 2020 due to the worsening of the epidemiological situation, and with Tanzania and Turkey — since April 2021. Flights have been suspended until June 1, 2021.