Finland Bans Bulgarian Tour Agency after 'Hostage' Crisis

Tourism | September 13, 2011, Tuesday // 09:32|  views

Hundreds of Russian and Finnish tourists were turned into hostages in Bulgaria after a scandal between the country’s national airline and tour operator Alma Tour broke out Photo by BGNES.

Bulgarian tour agency Alma Tour has been banned in Finland after more than two hundred Finnish tourists were kept hostages at a Bulgarian airport because of the company's outstanding debts.

Alma Tour will not be able to offer it packages to tourists in Finland until it proves its financial stability.

A Finish airline plane rescued more than 200 Finns, stranded in Bulgaria's Burgas Airport after their flight was canceled in the wake of a trade dispute between the country's national airline and the tour operator.

The plane took off shortly before midnight and delivered the unlucky tourists back home three days later than scheduled.

There was a grave problem in finding a flight to transport the tourists headed back to Helsinki, since there were no flights are available and Bulgaria Air had retracted all other crew from the airport.

Some 500 more Russian tourists suffered a similar fate when their flights were canceled, but Russian tour agencies have bought their clients new flights so they might return home.

Currently only 60 tourists from Saint Petersburg remain blocked at hotels along the southern coast.

The scandal broke out after national carrier Bulgaria Air canceled 3 flights to Russia and one to Finland over concerns that tour agency Alma Tour that booked them owed the airline some EUR 3.5 M.

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Tags: tour operator, Alma Tour, Bulgaria Air, airline carriers, Russian, finish, flights, Burgas, Bulgaria, tourists, Russians, Russian tourists, Finnish, Finland


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