Russian charter flights to Vietnam's Phu Quoc suspended until end of May

By Minh Khoa, Thanh Nien News

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Russian tourists arrive at Phu Quoc Airport in the first charter flight made on February 14, 2014. Photo: Thu Tuyet

A Vietnamese-Russian venture has halted charter flights from Russia to Phu Quoc Island for four months due to a significant drop in the number of tourists. 
The Anh Duong Company, the Vietnamese firm that has partnered with Pegas Touristik, said the flights will be suspended until the end of May. 
The rationale for the move is a decrease in the number of Russian tourists to the popular resort island, presumably caused by the weakening ruble, according to the operators. 
Huynh Quang Hung, deputy chairman of Phu Quoc District, said the decision will not affect the local tourism sector much as the number of international visitors is still increasing. Travelers often fly in from Hanoi or Ho Chi Minh City. 
Last year, Phu Quoc saw a 32-percent annual increase in the number of foreign visitors.
The charter flight service from Russia to Phu Quoc was launched last February. 
Since March 10, 2014,  foreigners have been able to visit Phu Quoc for up to 30 days without a visa.
The visa waiver also applies to foreigners who transit at any airport or seaport in Vietnam on their way to Phu Quoc.

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