THE Costa Blanca faces the loss of 8,000 Russian tourists a year as flight tickets are stopped.
The Federal Air Transport Agency of Russia has decided to stop selling tickets from Transaero, the Russian company that for two years has operated weekly flights between Moscow and Alicante-Elche, which moves around 8,000 tourists annually, due to the poor economic state of the airline.
Russian passengers are now without a direct flight operating on Sundays; a service that had an average take-up of 98 per cent.
Moscow has assured travellers who had bought their tickets that they may continue to fly using Aeroflot. Airport sources pointed out that, so far, there have been no cancellations and flights operated normally last weekend.
Until the end of October, Alicante-Elche is connected with Moscow (Siberian Airlines and Vueling) and St. Petersburg (Vueling), but there are questions regarding what will happen from November.
The Russian Transport Ministry announced in early September absorption plans of a 75 per cent stake in Transaero Airlines from Aeroflot for the symbolic amount of one ruble (€0.01), but the deal failed to run because the conditions of the transaction were not fulfilled. The absorption agreement stated that Aeroflot, the largest Russian airline with 51 per cent of state capital, would head the restructuring plan of Transaero, but lenders have failed to agree on the terms of debt restructuring.