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Aeroflot Begins Direct Flights to Samarkand

Russia's flagship carrier Aeroflot will begin weekly flights from Moscow to Samarkand, Uzbekistan's second-largest city, starting Jan. 16, the company said in a press release Thursday.

The move comes as the falling value of Russia's ruble currency dampens demand for overseas travel and forces airlines to raise fares.

The ruble has lost 40 percent of its value against the U.S. dollar since January, and Russia's Union of Tour operators has said that the number of Russians traveling abroad will fall by the same amount this year.

Aeroflot's flights will depart from Sheremetyevo's Terminal D on Fridays at 10:55 p.m., arriving in Samarkand at 4:55 a.m.

All budget tickets for the inaugural flight have sold out, meaning the cheapest available seats are 20,348 rubles ($368) one way.

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