Russia plans to resume international air travel on July 15 as it eyes a gradual return to normal life amid the coronavirus pandemic, the RBC news website and state-run TASS news agency reported Sunday.
Russia grounded nearly all international flights in late March amid the coronavirus outbreak, allowing only special flights evacuating Russians from abroad and other flights authorized by the government. Since then, Russia has reported more than 476,000 Covid-19 cases, becoming the world’s third most-affected country by the pandemic.
Russia’s Federal Air Transport Agency, Rosaviatsia, plans to send its proposal to restart international flights in five weeks to Russia’s consumer protection watchdog Rospotrebnadzor, RBC and TASS cited unnamed sources as saying.
Rosaviatsia reportedly seeks to restart flights to and from 15 countries, including China, South Korea, Turkey and European countries where the coronavirus crisis has eased. An Interfax source identified the countries as former Soviet republics.
“Nearly every country” would be available for business aviation, according to a TASS source.
The resumption would be contingent on the destination countries agreeing to accept flights from Russia, the outlets reported.
On Monday, Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin ordered Rosaviatsia and Rospotrebnadzor to explore options for resuming international flights.
Russia's border has been closed to all foreign nationals since mid-March.