Russian tourists stranded abroad as travel company collapses

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Russian tourists stranded abroad as travel company collapses

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Up to 27,000 people are stranded abroad with no flights home after Russian travel company Labirint collapsed.

It’s the fourth Russian tour operator to go bankrupt in just three weeks and the fifth during the summer holiday season.

The Ukraine crisis has been blamed for a slump in Russians wanting to travel out of the country.

A drop in the value of the ruble has also affected travel companies.

One tourist at Moscow’s Sheremyetevo airport said: “Some people spent a whole day at the airport. We had more luck. We stayed at the hotel.”

Another tourist was not so lucky: “We were forced to leave the hotel,” she said. “They offered us either to pay or to leave.”

Russia’s intelligence service has launched an enquiry into the closure over fraud allegations.

Oleg Safonov, temporary director of the Russian Federal Tourism Agency:
“We are facing bold-faced, cynical fraud here and we believe that the Interior Ministry has to look into the matter.”

Safonov suggested that Russians should holiday at home, which would be, “a less risky affair,” he said.

It will take around a week to return all stranded tourists back to Russia.