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Russian flight prices to Dubai soar as Putin orders army call-up

Airport, Airfield, Airplane Emirates
Air travel from Russia to the UAE this year exceeded pre-pandemic levels by 27%

One-way ticket prices to Dubai from Russia have skyrocketed after President Vladimir Putin ordered the immediate call-up of 300,000 reservists.

Flights to Dubai cost more than 300,000 roubles ($5,000), nearly five times the average monthly wage, Reuters reported.

Direct flights from Moscow to Istanbul, Turkey and Yerevan, Armenia, which allow visa-free entry, were sold out on Wednesday, according to Aviasales data.

One-way fares to Turkey shot up to almost 70,000 roubles ($1,150), compared with a little over 22,000 roubles a week ago, Google Flights data shows.

Some routes with stopovers, including those from Moscow to Tbilisi, Georgia, were unavailable.

Air travel from Russia to the UAE during the first eight months of the year exceeded pre-pandemic levels by 27 percent, AGBI reported, citing London-based global travel data and analytics firm ForwardKeys.

Olivier Ponti, vice president of insights at ForwardKeys, said that flight bookings for the next four months, covering September to December 2022, are 112 percent ahead (as of August 17) compared to the same period in 2019.

According to Dubai’s Department of Economy and Tourism, Western Europe accounted for 22 percent of tourist arrivals, while Russia, CIS, and Eastern Europe together accounted for 11 percent of total visitors.

Putin’s announcement, made in an early-morning television address, raised fears that some men of fighting age would not be allowed to leave the country.

Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu said the call-up would be limited to those with experience as professional soldiers, and that students and conscripts would not be called up.