“More than 10,000 passengers that purchased tickets for flights between Russia and South Korea with departures in March. We plan that passengers will be returned home by S7 charters. The charter flight schedule has been prepared until the middle of March so far,” the company said.
According to the decision of the Russian coronavirus control center, flights of Russian airlines to the Republic of Korea, except state-run national carrier Aeroflot, will be suspended from March 1.
S7’s CEO Anton Eremin said the company was surprised by the authorities’ move.
“We are extremely surprised by this decision. S7 Airlines provides 20% of passenger traffic on routes from Russia to South Korea. In fact, a ban on flights to South Korea for any airline other than Aeroflot and Aurora means the withdrawal of one of the key players from the line – S7 Airlines. Such a ban will affect 90% of Aeroflot’s competitors’ capacities and will not affect the Aeroflot group itself. We do not see any logical justification for such a decision and consider this a gross violation of competition in the air transportation market,” said Eremin.
S7 is currently making 14 flights per week to Seoul from Vladivostok, four from Novosibirsk and three from Irkutsk.
According to the latest data, 1,261 coronavirus cases were registered in the Republic of Korea. The death toll is 12, while 24 individuals recovered from the disease.