Middle East

Russia's Aeroflot says to end Syria flights

A Russian Sukhoi Superjet 100 in Aeroflot livery in southern England July 8, 2012. (REUTERS/Luke MacGregor)

MOSCOW: Russia's state-controlled flag carrier Aeroflot said Monday it was terminating flights to Damascus from next month because of dropping demand for tickets amid growing Syrian violence.

"We are shutting down this route for commercial reasons," a company spokesman told the RIA Novosti news agency.

"The flights are ending on August 6 due to dropping passenger traffic, which fell due to the armed hostilities," an Aeroflot official told ITAR-TASS.

The website of Russia's largest airline showed Aeroflot operating two round-trip flights to Damascus per week.

Russia still keeps a full diplomatic presence in Syria and is one of the last world powers to still formally recognize the leadership of President Bashar Assad.

Syria is also home to tens of thousands of ethnic Russians as well as Syrians who studied in the former Soviet Union.





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