Russia Alarms EC over Its Tourists Stranded in BulgariaBulgaria in EU | September 19, 2011, Monday // 15:12| views
Exasperated Russian tourists wait in Varna Airport to see whether their flight has been rescheduled. Photo by BGNES
The Russian Union of Travel Industry has sent a letter to the European Commission demanding measures against the Bulgaria Air airline carrier which they believed has failed to serve its customers.
On Saturday, the union also filed a claim with the International Air Transport Association (IATA) against Bulgaria Air. The reason for the move is the unprecedented crisis that left hundreds of tourists, mainly Russian, stranded for days in Bulgaria and unable to return to Moscow and Saint Petersburg, even though their tickets had been paid for in advance.
"For a second week in a row, the Bulgarian airline carrier refuses to transport passengers from Varna and Burgas to Moscow and Saint Petersburg, explaining that the Bulgarian Alma Tour tour operator owes it a debt. An airline carrier that transports passengers with two-way tickets is obliged to return them," Irina Tyurina from the Russian Union of Travel Industry has told Interfax.
Some 700 Russians, 200 Finns and dozens of persons from Lithuania waited for days to get home after their flights were canceled on September 09 and September 10, due to an alleged EUR 3.6 M debt to Bulgaria Air from Alma Tour.
On Sunday, a plane of "Rossiya" (Russia) airlines, transporting some of the Russian tourists, who were stranded at Bulgarian Black Sea airports, landed in St. Petersburg. No more tourists are currently reported stranded in Bulgaria.
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