One-way flight tickets out of Russia began to rapidly begin selling out following Russian President Vladimir Putin’s announcement of a partial military mobilisation to call-up 3,00,000 reservists to shore up Russia’s manpower-depleted forces fighting a floundering war in Ukraine, Google Trends data showed.
According to Google Trends, searches for Aviasales — Russia’s most popular platform for purchasing flight tickets, with a monthly audience exceeding 15 million users — spiked considerably immediately following Putin’s announcement.
As per Aviasales’ data, direct flights from Moscow to Istanbul in Turkey and Yerevan in Armenia — both of which are two of the few destinations remaining to which Russians can fly visa-free — were sold out on Wednesday, within hours of Putin’s announcement.
Even some non-direct flights, such as those from Moscow to Georgia’s capital Tbilisi were booked out. Meanwhile, flights to Dubai, a very popular destination among Russia’s affluent, were selling for as much as US$ 5,000 — roughly five times the wage earned by the average Russian worker.