Skift Travel News Blog

Short stories and posts about the daily news happenings around the travel industry.


One-Way Flight Bookings From Russia Up 27 Percent

12 months ago

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.


Ukraine Tells Foreign Tourists to Stay Out, Visit After Victory

1 year ago

Ukraine has urged foreign tourists against visiting the war-torn country, at least for now. The State Agency for Tourism Development of Ukraine mentioned that the “once-safe country” can no longer guarantee safety to tourists.

The state agency typically works to promote and popularise Ukrainian tourism in domestic and foreign markets.  However, since February, the agency’s work programme has been drastically altered following the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

Mariana Oleskiv, chairperson of the State Agency for Tourism Development of Ukraine, will be speaking at the Skift Global Forum in New York City next month.

“Ukraine is a beautiful country and we have a lot to show to tourists from all around the world. But so far there is no 100 percent safe place in our country,” a statement from the state agency read. 

With Ukrainians having learnt to live and work during the war, domestic tourism in the country is slowly recovering, the state agency said. “But we cannot invite foreign tourists to visit Ukraine now.”

The country wants foreign tourists to visit after its victory, “We’ll need your support to help the Ukrainian economy to recover and come to our country as tourists!” reads the note from the state agency.

In May, the European Travel Commission had invited the state agency for tourism development of Ukraine to join the organisation with a complimentary three-year membership. The membership would allow the state agency to help strategise the recovery of the Ukrainian travel sector once the war ends.

To exert pressure on the Russian government to end its invasion of Ukraine, Russia’s once-cozy neighbors — Estonia, Latvia and Finland — are now going tough on travel visas for Russian tourists, noted a recent Skift report.




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