Russia is to resume charter flights to Turkey, Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev said Sunday, ending Moscow's nine-month flight ban as part of sanctions on Ankara.
The halt to flights between Turkey and Russia was one of several restrictions imposed by Russian President Vladimir Putin in December 2015 as retribution for Ankara's downing of a Russian fighter jet in the Syrian conflict.
The first applications for charters to Turkey have already been submitted, Transport Minister Maxim Sokolov told Interfax news agency.
The travel ban is estimated to have caused billions of dollars in losses for the Turkish tourism industry. The number of Russian tourists dropped off by 93 per cent compared to a year ago.
In early August, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan met with Putin in St. Petersburg to patch up relations, leading to an agreement on resuming charter flights between the countries.
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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.
Russia's ban on charter flights to Turkey has been lifted, the Kremlin said in a statement Thursday, signaling a further thaw in tensions after months of bad blood between Russian President Vladimir Putin and his Turkish counterpart, Recep Tayyip Erdogan.