The airline industry has been hampered by a perfect storm of challenges over recent weeks, from labor shortages and supply disruptions to high fuel prices.
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Dubai, United Arab Emirates – Economy round-trip flights from Moscow to Dubai cost up to $5,000, many of which ran out entirely in the days after Russian President Vladimir Putin announced a “partial” mobilization of 300,000 reservists to fight in Ukraine. .
The five-hour flight cost about $350 one week before the announcement was delivered on 9/11. 21.
Current fares on Emirates Airlines, Emirates Airlines and flydubai for the month between September 11th. 28 and October. 26 costs between $2,577 and $4,773 for an economy one-way ticket, according to those airlines’ websites. The cheapest of these is more than twice the average Russian monthly salary of $965, according to Statista.com. Direct flights to Dubai from St. Petersburg, the second largest city in Russia, is priced at about $2,600.
Round-trip economy flights to Abu Dhabi from Moscow cost about $3000 on Etihad Airways.
Flights with links are available at lower prices, but are still well above average, according to Google Travel. An economy ticket to Dubai on Azerbaijan Airlines with a layover in Baku ran between $988 and $1,040 per week between 9/11. 28 and October. 6, about three times its price before the declaration of packing.
“The Russians are avoiding,” Ian Bremmer, CEO of risk advisory firm Eurasia Group, wrote on Twitter, along with a video from flight-tracking website Flightradar24.com showing throngs of planes leaving Russia over the course of a few days.
For those with more money to spend, seats on private jets are an option, but their prices have gone up, too. The Guardian wrote in a report on Tuesday that Russians “pay between £20,000 and £25,000 for a seat on a private plane,” which is several times more than normal fares, citing the head of a private airline who said demand had increased by an amount. 50 times. .
Prices for flights from Russia generally soared and many were sold out in the days following the news, and satellite images as well as footage posted in media and social media show long lines of cars backed up for miles on Russia’s borders with Finland, Georgia, Kazakhstan and several other countries. The Kazakhstan government has reported receiving nearly 100,000 Russians in the past week.
A general view of the downtown area in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, December 8, 2021.
Satish Kumar | Reuters
But the UAE, and Dubai in particular, is a favorite of Russian travelers and expats. Already since Western countries imposed a wave of sanctions on Russia after Putin directed his forces to invade Ukraine on February 3. 24, large numbers of Russians moved to the sunny desert principality where they could live without penalties.
They are also credited with boosting Dubai’s luxury real estate sector, with oligarchs and other wealthy businessmen snapping up multimillion-dollar seaside villas, some to live in and others as a place to store their cash.
Before Russia launched its war with Ukraine, the number of Russians living in the United Arab Emirates was approximately 40,000. Surely it will be more now.
“Everyone is leaving. A lot of people I know,” a Russian national living in Dubai, who asked not to be identified due to safety concerns, told CNBC.
“Flights [from Russia] To Dubai is fully booked for the next 3-4 days and the prices are insane. Flights to Istanbul are also full, flights to [Armenian capital] Yerevan is expensive. I know five or six people who arrived in Dubai a few days ago. They paid crazy prices.”
She added, “The problem is that until you receive the document calling for military service, you can be allowed out of the country. However, you can’t stay out of the country just because you don’t have residency. Anywhere else.”
She said many of the Russians who arrive in Dubai to escape the military deployment are staying at the homes of friends and family members. But after the 60-day UAE tourist visa period has passed, the plan is unknown.
One Dubai-based pilot from the United Kingdom described Russian friends and colleagues looking for ways to get themselves or their relatives to other countries.
“People say that their friends have already received draft letters” even though there is no military experience, said the pilot, so this story that Russia is mobilizing only people with military experience is nonsense. The Kremlin has tried to dispel the Russians’ fears about deployment by insisting on Only people with prior training will be called.
The pilot, who spoke anonymously due to professional restrictions, added that he had also received a request from a Russian acquaintance asking to live in his apartment in Dubai.
It is not clear what many of these individuals plan to do once their visitor visas run out, and residents of Dubai are now afraid to return to Russia. The scariest scenario, many of them say, is that Putin closes the borders to prevent military-age men from leaving before they or their families can get out.