Booking of one-way airline tickets from Russia soared 27 percent during the week of September 21 when President Vladimir Putin announced partial mobilisation of its citizens, travel analytics firm ForwardKeys noted on Tuesday.
Amid growing concerns about travel restrictions, tens of thousands of military-age men have reportedly been fleeing the country after Putin ordered Russia’s first mobilisation since World War II. As part of the mobilisation, 300,000 Russians would be called up to serve.
The share of one-way tickets jumped from 47 percent the week before to 73 percent during the week of September 21-27, according to data from ForwardKeys.
On a week-on-week basis, one-way tickets from Russia witnessed a triple-digit increase for the week ending September 27 to Georgia’s Tbilisi, Kazakhstan’s Almaty and Astana, Ajzerbaijan’s Baku, Serbia’s Belgrade, Kyrgyzstan’s Bishkek, Istanbul, Tel Aviv and Dubai.
The top three destinations cities for which Russians booked one-way tickets were Tblisi, which witnessed a 654 percent increase over the week before September 21-26, Almaty witnessed a 435 percent increase and the tickets to Belgrade increased over 206 percent.
Russians are allowed to travel to some of their former-Soviet neighbours like Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, and Kyrgyzstan on internal passports and do not require a visa for entry.
Noting the shortening of the booking window from 34 to 22 days, ForwardKeys stated that 60 percent of tickets issued had the travel date within 15 days of purchase, while for tickets purchased the previous week, that share was 45 percent.
“These numbers are quite remarkable and correlate with reports at the time of a sudden increase in ticket sales,” said Olivier Ponti, vice president of insights for ForwardKeys.
One way-fares from Russia to Turkey had shot up to almost $1,150, compared with a little over $375 a week ago, according to Google Flights data.