Russia may allow foreign airlines to fly domestic routes during 2018 World Cup

Expecting a surge of foreign visitors in June and July, Russia may need help to cope with the transportation demands

(Sputnik) – Foreign airlines may be allowed to transport football fans within Russia during the FIFA 2018 World Cup, Russian Transport Minister Maxim Sokolov said Thursday.

“We may allow cabotage flights within the country during the period [of the 2018 World Cup] for those tourists who will arrive here on their charter flights,” Sokolov said, adding that the measure could be introduced if Russian airlines fail to cope with tourism flows.

The minister pointed out that no foreign airlines had expressed their willingness to organize intra-Russian flights for the 2018 World Cup.

Sokolov also said he was sure that Russia’s transport infrastructure would cope with the flow of tourists during the event.

“According to previous events, the number [of tourists] will amount to 3-5 million people. A simple calculation of our transport system’s capabilities shows that it can easily transport 10 million people,” the minister added.

Foreign airlines are currently prohibited from having their own flights within Russia.

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