Canceled flights leave Russians stranded in Phuket
PHUKET: The Russian consulate in Phuket is providing assistance to Russian nationals stranded on the island unable to return home.
The move comes as two major airlines that bring Russian tourists to Phuket – S7 and Aeroflot – have suspended all flights to and from the island.
It also comes as many Russian-based airlines have opted to cease all flights outside of Russian airspace, as much of their fleet is leased and may be seized upon landing under imposed sanctions. following the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
“If you are a tourist and are having difficulty returning to Russia, please complete our feedback form with State Services,” the notice from the Russian consulate in Phuket reads.
“The form requests location data and information on return tickets, which will allow Rostourism and the Federal Air Transport Agency [Rosaviation] to correct Russian tourist lists and help them get home,” he added.
“In collaboration with the Ministry of Transport, the Federal Air Transport Agency [Rosaviation] and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, we continue to work on organizing the return of tourists on a daily basis. Regular and charter flights bring tourists back every day,” the consulate said.
However, the Russian consulate then recognized the difficulties that Russian nationals could face in returning home, even with the help of the Russian government.
In short, stranded Russian nationals unable to support themselves for an extended stay while waiting for the Russian government to arrange a return flight may have to arrange their own return flight via a third country, the consulate admitted.
“Unfortunately, coordinating special flights is a long process. Therefore, if you have the opportunity and do not have time to wait, the fastest and best option is to take a ticket through third countries yourself. Itinerary options are in our memo,” the notice read.
The Russian Consulate announced yesterday that it will continue to send letters to Russian citizens needing to extend their stay by one month at Phuket Immigration.
The Consulate will deliver the required letters, which formally request the Immigration office to extend the applicant’s stay, at the Consulate office at Royal Phuket Marina tomorrow (March 9) from 2-6pm.
“In the first half of the day, citizens will be received on general consular matters,” the consulate explained in a notice issued last night.
“Personal appearance at the Consulate General to receive the letters is mandatory (except for minors),” he added.
“Please note that Russians arriving in Phuket on tourist visas or visa-free stamps [visa exemption status] have the right to ask the immigration service for a 60-day “covid” extension. To obtain such an extension, it is not necessary to request letters from the Consulate General,” the consulate explained.
“Letters from the Consulate General are needed mainly for citizens who do not have the possibility of receiving ‘covid’ stamps and whose flights to Russia have been cancelled,” he added.
“PS The Thai side charges a state fee for extending the stay of foreigners, which is 1900 baht,” the notice reads.