The Russian Federal Air Transport Agency has warned airlines that it may suspend charter flights to Turkey due to the "difficult political situation" there, a source in one of the airlines reportedly told the Russian TASS news agency. Russian airline companies were reported to have received a telegram from the Federal Aviation Agency (Rosaviatsia) warning about a possible suspension of charter flights to Turkey.
"Rosaviatsia sent a telegram to Russian airlines stating that suspension of charter flights Russian airlines make to Turkey's airports is possible," the source told the agency. A potential suspension of charter flights is related to a complicated political situation in Turkey, according to the source. It follows from the text of the telegram that Rosaviatsiya asked airlines "to undertake the required measures when planning existing charter programs." The telegram was signed by deputy head of the Russian aviation agency Oleg Kim. Previously Russia suspended charter flights with Turkey in late October 2015.
In August 2016, after President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan paid an official visit to Moscow that launched the normalization of ties between the two countries.
The normalization of relations was crowned with President Erdoğan's last visit to Russia on March 10. On Aug. 28, 2016, Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev signed a decree lifting the ban on charter air services between Russia and Turkey.
The Federal Air Transport Agency declined to comment. Moreover, Kremlin spokesperson Dmitriy Peskov also declined to comment on the question of whether Russia will suspend charters flights to Turkey, stating that it is a matter for the Russian government and Russian Federal Air Transport Agency.