Russian Air Carriers Ask Government for Support

Last week, the Russian Tourism Industry Union reported 1.5 billion rubles in losses since flights to Egypt were suspended on Nov. 6, news agency Interfax said.

The Russian Association of Air Transport Operators (AEVT) has asked the government to reduce taxes on domestic routes amid 28 billion ruble ($430 million) losses in the first half of 2015, the TASS news agency reported.

The AEVT wants the government to set goods and services taxes for domestic flights to zero percent, increase the government's excise duty on fuel and impose credit payment compensation for the carriers, TASS reported.

The carriers stress that their losses in the first half of 2015 had reached 28 billion rubles, with the downward trend in international travel remaining.

The AEVT also estimates 2015 industry losses from the ban on flights to Egypt at 9 billion rubles, citing this as one of the reasons it needs the government's aid.

The letter from the AEVT with the association's proposals has been sent to Deputy Prime Minister Arkady Dvorkovich.

Last week, the Russian Tourism Industry Union reported 1.5 billion rubles in losses since flights to Egypt were suspended on Nov. 6, news agency Interfax said.

According to union spokeswoman Irina Tyurina, the losses resulted from tour operators being required to fly empty planes to Egypt to evacuate Russian tourists.

The suspension of flights to Egypt was announced on Nov. 6 by President Vladimir Putin after a Kogalymavia aircraft crash in the Sinai Peninsula on Oct. 31 resulted in the deaths of 224 people.

About 70,000 Russian tourists have been brought back from Egypt since the evacuation started, with around 5,000 more still remaining in the country's coastal resorts, an official from Rosturizm, Russia's tourist industry watchdog, said Monday, TASS reported.

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