Turkey could lose more than USD 3.3 billion in annual tourism revenue if Russia bans flights to the country, the Izvestia newspaper writes.
The Russian State Duma’s deputy chairman Nikolai Levichev has already sent a request to the Federal Air Transport Agency to cut air links with Turkey immediately because of the shooting down of a Russian Su-24 fighter jet by the Turkish Air Force.
"Turkey's national air carrier Turkish Airlines currently operates flights from Istanbul and other Turkish cities to a number of population centers located in the zone of increased terrorist threat," Levichev wrote in the request to the Federal Air Transport Agency. He added that there was a high risk of infiltration of flights into Turkish airports, which could lead to increased terrorist threat to Russian aircraft.
Turkey’s revenue from tourism by foreigners totaled more than USD 27.7 billion in 2014. A little more than 36.8 million foreigners, including 4.4 million Russians (about 12%) visited the country. Thus, Russian tourists accounted for about USD 3.3 billion out of its total tourism revenue.
In the first nine months of 2015, the country's tourism revenue amounted to USD 20.3 billion, which is USD 1.3 billion less than the revenue in the corresponding period of 2014. Turkey has already lost some Russian tourists this year: 3.3 million Russians visited the country in the period of January-September (4.1 million in 2014).