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Tags: russia | putin | mobilization | vladimir putin | reservists | escape

Russians Paying Nearly $25K for Plane Tickets to Flee Putin's Draft


By    |   Tuesday, 27 September 2022 08:51 AM EDT

Russians are paying exorbitant prices for airplane tickets to escape the country following President Vladimir Putin's partial mobilization of reservists.

Wealthy Russians are paying around $25,000 for a seat on a private plane, and as much as $135,000 to rent an eight-seater jet, to flee to places such as Armenia, Turkey, and Azerbaijan, The Guardian reported Tuesday.

Many European countries have said they will not allow Russians fleeing mobilization to enter, and many had already blocked Russian tourists, Business Insider said.

There also was widespread fears that the Kremlin will close its borders this week, The Guardian reported.

"The situation is absolutely crazy at the moment," Yevgeny Bikov, director of broker jet company Your Charter, told The Guardian. "We would get 50 requests a day; now it is around 5,000."

Putin last week ordered a partial mobilization of reservists in Russia, in a measure that appeared to be an admission that the Kremlin's war against Ukraine isn't going according to plan after nearly seven months of fighting.

The move has triggered outraged protests, acts of violence across the vast country, and a fearful exodus.

Bikov said his company had started to charter larger commercial planes in an effort to meet the demand and bring down prices. He added that the cheapest seat on a chartered commercial plane to Yerevan was priced at about $3,400.

"We simply cannot find enough spots for everyone," he told The Guardian.

FlightWay, which offers private jets, said it was experiencing an increase in requests for one-way flights to Armenia, Turkey, Kazakhstan, and Dubai.

"The demand has increased by 50 times," FlightWay CEO Eduard Simonov said.

"All the European private jet firms have left the market. There is more demand than supply now and the prices are through the roof compared with six months ago."

The availability of jets for rent was severely limited after the European Union and United Kingdom introduced sanctions that prohibited the leasing or insuring of aircraft for use in Russia.

Russia already was set to lose 15% of its millionaires this year, according to one study. The mobilization likely increases the outflow and could damage Russia's economy further.

"Most of our male younger clients left when Putin announced the mobilization last week," a Moscow luxury concierge service employee told The Guardian.

"I used to be calling up restaurants and bars … to book tables for them. Now, all I do is scroll through flight aggregators to get the last plane seat for them to Yerevan."

Wealthy individuals are not the only ones trying to leave Russia. Business outlet Kommersant reported that a Moscow video game design company chartered an entire flight to get employees out of the country.

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Russians are paying exorbitant prices for airplane tickets to escape the country following President Vladimir Putin's partial mobilization of reservists.
russia, putin, mobilization, vladimir putin, reservists, escape
Tuesday, 27 September 2022 08:51 AM
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