Passengers unable to fly to Moscow after buying tickets

A number of persons, including Russian citizens, who bought tickets to fly by the Moscow-Chisinau-Moscow flight operated by Air Moldova could not return to the Russian Federation after coming to Moldova. The representative office of Air Moldova said it operates flights to Russia, but the Russian authorities decide who can and who cannot return to Russia based on pre-registration on the website gosuslugi.ru.

Contacted by IPN for a comment, Air Moldova press officer Tamara Luca said that after purchasing tickets, the passengers are informed by the airline, at the airport or by email, that the flights take place only as a result of registration on that website. It’s better for the passengers to register on the given website, to fill out the required form available there and to get permission for returning to the country and then to buy tickets. Currently, Air Moldova operates flights to Russia sometimes without any passenger, but these planes come back from Russia full.

Asked why tickets for the Chisinau-Moscow flights are sold if there is no certainty that the passengers could fly, the press officer said the Russian Federation extends the crisis situation every two weeks and it is thus not known for sure when the go-ahead will be given and the passengers could fly. In such conditions, there are no reasons for stopping the sale of tickets. “The Russian Federation announced that the crisis situation will last until September 30. We do not know what will happen after September 30 and cannot stop selling tickets. We have no argument in favor of not selling tickets. The tickets we sold starting with September 1 fall under the new rule imposed by the Russian Federation. One of the flying rules is to register on gosuslugi.ru as a result of which the passengers receive confirmation of admission to the flight,” she stated.

IPN’s reporter tried to register on gosuslugi.ru, but it turned out that only citizens of the Russian Federation can do it. Also, the platform informs there are no flights for which the Russian citizens can register for returning home.

Tamara Luca noted the passengers who bought tickets, but didn’t use them can use them later. They have a year at their disposal to decide when to use the tickets, with a utilization interval of a year and a half from now on. For the purpose, the passengers with unused tickets must inform the airline beforehand about the rescheduling either on the Facebook page or on airmoldova.md. There can be modified the flight date, the passenger’s name or even the destination, with recalculation. The airline cannot refund the money as it is in a poor financial situation owing to the pandemic.

Asked how the citizens who got stuck in the Republic of Moldova can return to the Russian Federation, representatives of Russia’s Embassy in Moldova said the Russian citizens and those who fall under the exception categories, but are in countries with an increased risk of infection can return to the Russian Federation only through Belarus and Turkey.

Under the Russian Government’s Decision, the foreigners and stateless persons cannot enter Russia at present, except for a number of categories.

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