As Russia enters the fourth wave of Covid with death rates as high as in July, the Russian government continues to reopen flights to new destinations and increase flight capacity to those destinations that already open in the hope that the requirements for Russians to travel abroad will improve. However, the main issue is that the vaccination programme has stalled with only about 30% of the country vaccination and this may mean ongoing waves of Covid for some time still to come. As Russia submit the documentation required for the final approval of the Sputnik vaccine by the WHO, it is likely that it will get recognition by November 2021, but some Russians cannot wait until then and tour operators are busy sending Russians to different European countries to get vaccination with an internationally recognised vaccine.
The Russian economy is recovering well, despite high rates of inflation. At the same time the Russian Rouble is regaining some of its lost value, mainly due to the increase in the price of oil and gas which means international travel will appear less costly than it did previously due to the devaluation in the currency. The overall economic optimism in travel is reflected in the launch of a new budget airline in 2022 by S7, Russia’s second largest airline company. However, this airline plans to mainly serve domestic traffic between larger cities to avoid them having to travel via Moscow.
7 October 2021, Moscow