MOSCOW, April 22 (Itar-Tass) —— The airline, which brought Ideal World tour operator clients to Israel, must bring them back home irrespective of the tour operator’s payment for the tourists’ tickets, Russian Union of Travel Industry press secretary Irina Tyurina told Itar-Tass on Sunday.
“I was surprised to hear that the tourists were stranded at an Israeli airport. An airline brought them to Israel and the tourists had tickets, which meant the airline must bring them back home irrespective the tickets were paid for or not,” she said.
“As for approximately 70 tourists at Moscow’s Domodedovo Airport; their tickets were not even booked. These tourists are not on the passenger lists or amongst persons with booked tickets. They were simply deceived,” Tyurina said.
The Federal Tourism Service reported that 54 tourists were unable to board Aeroflot and Transaero planes in Israel. Thirty-eight of them were supposed to have Aeroflot tickets and the rest – tickets of Transaero.
Transaero told Itar-Tass that the tourists had no electronic tickets; instead they produced ticket booking certificates issued by the tour operator. It appeared that the booking was annulled because the tour operator did not pay for the tickets. Nine or ten tourists were offered to buy Transaero tickets and boarded the flight. No other clients of the Ideal World have tried to board a Transaero flight so far, the airline said.
Aeroflot does not have an office in Israel, but its interests are represented by the local company Open Sky. The later told Itar-Tass they were working to solve the problem but that would take time: it is a day off in Russia and the matter needs to be coordinated with the Aeroflot Moscow headquarters.
Russian Consul to Israel Ruslan Kandaurov told Itar-Tass the diplomats were expecting updated lists of the tourists. Those who can buy tickets, should do that and settle the problem with the tour operator in Moscow. Those who have no money will be provided accommodation, food and other support, he said.
The Ideal World offers tours to Israel, Jordan, the Czech Republic, Indonesia, Ukraine and Belarus. It has offices in Moscow, St. Petersburg, Yekaterinburg and Kiev.