First Russian charter flight in eight months lands in Turkish resort

Signalling an end to an era of frosty relations that bit hard into Turkey's tourism sector, for the first time in eight months a Russian charter plane with tourists landed Saturday at the Turkish resort of Antalya.

The plane landed at the local airport in south-western Turkey carrying 189 people, newspaper Yeni Safak reported.

Tourism in Turkey has been hard hit following several terrorist attacks. The latest one at the Ataturk international airport in Istanbul left 45 people dead last month.

Making matters worse, Turkey and Russia entered into a row in November, after the Turkish military shot down a Russian jet near the Syrian border, badly affecting tourism from the country.

Last month Ankara and Moscow agreed to improve relations, after Turkey expressed regret for the incident, and Russia lifted a ban on charter flights.

Turkey hopes this will be a boost to the beleaguered sector as local media reported a recent surge in ticket sales for flights from Russia.

Russian tourism to Turkey was down more than 90 per cent year on year, according to the most recent data, and overall tourism in Turkey was down about 35 per cent, according to figures by Turkey's Ministry of Culture and Tourism.

Russia and Turkey have been at odds about the Syrian civil war, in which they are supporting opposing sides.

Last update: Sat, 09/07/2016 - 12:13
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