Leading tour operators sounded optimistic despite the fact that the State had two consecutive bad seasons with charter flight services in Goa hitting a 12-year-low amid a dwindling number of foreign tourists as compared to domestic travelers.
The optimism was evident when leading tour operators of Goa, Sheik Ismail, general manager of Concord Travels & Tours said, “We are bringing first charter flight of the season to Goa from Moscow on October 2, 2016. It is a big flight with 512 passenger capacity and it will be fully packed.”
Ismail continued, “We are bringing four such charter flights from Moscow every week from October 2016 to March 29, 2017. We are expecting confirmation on the same flight for a further period till May 12, 2017 also.”
Russia contributes the most to charter segment in Goa, but Russian currency (ruble) had got hit two years back. One of the main reasons for ruble’s collapse was sanctions imposed by the US and European Union on Russia in the wake of its intervention in Ukraine.
Consequently, ruble had lost more than half of its value compared to US dollar between 2014 and 2015, which had affected the purchasing capacity of Russian tourists and many of them shunned travel.
Russian currency is yet to recover from that although it has remained stable in 2016 compared to 2015 levels. Meanwhile, Russia has banned all passenger flights to Egypt after a chartered passenger flight operated by a Russian airline disintegrated while flying in Egypt in an alleged terrorist attack.
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