Suspension of worldwide flights from Russia delivers a blow to Goa’s constitution season, ET TravelWorld News, ET TravelWorld

Suspension of international flights from Russia delivers a blow to Goa's charter season
With Russia suspending airways international flights from March 6, the battle in Ukraine has lastly put, paid to Goa‘s constitution season, which was already struggling as a consequence of a slowdown in bookings from Russian locations. The final constitution from Russia had arrived on March 3 and returned with passengers on March 7.

Charter arrivals from Russian locations final until mid-May, however resumption of flights in April will rely upon the normalization of the scenario between Russia and Ukraine, stated vice-president of Concord, Sheikh Ismail. “If the war continues, naturally, we can’t expect any charters in April. However, if the war stops, we may see a few flights next month. We are still getting bookings, but significantly less,” he added.

Currently, the state is receiving charters from Kazakhstan only, that too, once a week. Reiterating the uncertainties wrought by the war, Goa Chamber of Commerce (GCCI) President Ralph de Sousa said, “All operators from Russia take charters on lease. If due to the sanctions of a fleet of charters leased to operators in Russia are withdrawn, they will be in trouble.”

If the conflict prolongs and escalates to a full-fledged war, there is so much to worry about the tourism industry in destinations like Goa which pins its hopes on the Russian, CIS and Eastern European markets in a big way.

Goa used to also receive tourists from Belarus, Georgia and other CIS countries, but it is unlikely these tourists will now come since they are too close to the warring countries, he said. “There is not any hope of Russian charters coming to Goa throughout the the rest of the season solely due to the plane,” the GCCI president said.

Sheikh said that Russian tourists left Goa on Monday, a day after Russian airlines canceled international operations. Those left behind, Sheikh said, may be of different nationalities. Ukraine nationals are unable to return to their country. Others could be those from Kazakhstan, even Russia, who have not gone back, he said.

Foreign travelers in Goa, other than from Kazakhstan and Russia, Sheikh said, may have traveled to Goa from different routes in the absence of charters. Meanwhile, the announcement of the Indian government to restart international flights after a gap of two years, from March 27, may bring some footfalls to Goa, but that again will depend on the war, industry sources said.

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