Russia-Turkey flights sold out as Russians flee mobilization

Russia-Turkey flights sold out as Russians flee mobilization
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Thousands of Russians headed for the exits as President Vladimir Putin signed a decree for the conscription of 300 thousand reservists

All flights from Moscow Airport to Turkey were sold out for the next three days after Russia’s President signed a mobilization decree on Wednesday ordering the conscription of 300 thousand reservists. 

Turkey is one of the few destinations Russians can fly abroad amid Western sanctions.

There was no flight available to Armenia either, where Russians can also travel without a visa. 

A spokesperson from Turkish Airlines said the carrier was going to increase passenger capacity out of Russia for Thursday and Friday, as the cheapest flight peaked at 81,000 roubles ($1,340), compared with a little over 22,000 roubles a week ago.

Russian national airline Aeroflot also had no available seats in direct flights until Sunday, and indirect flights were routed via awkward destinations, going for $2,500.

Meanwhile, Google Trends data showed a spike in searches for Aviasales, Russia's most popular flight-booking site, Reuters reported

In a televised address to the nation on Wednesday, Putin said the decision for the mobilization was taken due to the stretched-out frontline, the constant shelling of Russian borderline areas by the Ukrainian military, and the attacks on “liberated” regions.

Putin said the decree is aimed at reservists with training and experience and Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu said that the mobilization will not affect students and currently conscripted soldiers.

The Kremlin declined to comment on whether the borders would be closed to those subject to the mobilization order, and asked people to be patient as the law is clarified.