Russian Deputy Prime Minister Tatyana Golikova has confirmed that the full service of flights from Russia to Turkey resumed on June 22nd. Russia had previously instated flight restrictions to Turkey on April 15th because of the large number of COVID-19 in the country.
During this time, only 2 flights operated by Aeroflot and Turkish Airlines were permitted per week. However, flights operated by the following airlines have now resumed:
- Azur Air
- Nordwind Airlines
- Red Wings
- Royal Flight
- S7 Airlines
- Ural Airlines
Golikova said the decision to restart all flights between the 2 countries was made following the visit of Russian experts to Turkey to assess safety measures. Turkish officials have launched a number of safe tourism campaigns in recent weeks in order to kick-start the country’s flagging tourism industry, and so have welcomed the news.
Turkish Leaders Welcome the Lifting of Flight Suspensions
The President of Turkey, Tayyip Erdogan, has welcomed the full reopening of flights from Russia, saying Other states [have] started to gradually remove our country from their lists of restrictions. We welcome the decision, made by Russia after France”.
Erdogan made these comments during the unveiling of a hotel in the southern Turkish city of Antalya, one of the most famous summer resorts in the country. It is particularly popular among Russian tourists.
Mehmet Nuri Ersoy, the Turkish Culture and Tourism Minister, has also welcomed Russia’s decision. “Russia’s resumption of flights to our country as of June 22 is an indication of the trust in our country for safe tourism”, he said. “I hope that we will reap the fruits of our diplomatic traffic with other countries in the upcoming period, as with Russia”.
Turkey is the most popular holiday destination for Russians, and roughly 7 million tourist arrivals from Russia were recorded in 2019 alone. Despite the restrictions of the coronavirus pandemic, over 2.7 million Russians still visited Turkey for tourism in 2020, and this number is only expected to rise now that flights have fully resumed.
Current Requirements to Travel From Russia to Turkey
Although Russians do not need a visa for Turkey for short tourism stays, they do need to meet some document requirements to visit the country during the coronavirus pandemic.
At present, all passengers aged 6 or older arriving in Turkey on a flight from Russia are required to present proof of a negative COVID-19 PCR test taken at most 72 hours before arrival. Alternatively, they may present a negative COVID-19 rapid antigen test taken at most 48 hours before arrival.
However, Russian passengers who have a COVID-19 vaccination certificate showing that they were fully vaccinated at least 14 days before arrival or a coronavirus recovery certificate issued at most 6 months before arrival are exempt from this requirement.
Additionally, they will also need to complete an online Entrance Form for Turkey, a mandatory requirement that has been introduced to safeguard the health of tourists and Turkish residents alike. This health declaration form must be completed within 72 hours of departure of the flight to Turkey.