Since September 21, thousands of Russians have fled their country. According to official information from the respective foreign ministries alone, 98,000 Russian citizens traveled to Kazakhstan, 53,000 to Georgia, 43,000 to Finland and 3,800 to Mongolia within a few days. Turkey and Armenia are also popular escape destinations. Russian citizens do not need visas to enter these countries. Official figures are not available here. But flights have not been available since the first day of mobilization. Everything is sold out.
But rich Russians don't have to deal with such problems. They book private jets to leave Russia. "We usually get 50 requests a day, now it's about 5,000. The situation is absolutely crazy," Yevgeny Bykov, director of Your Charter company, told the British Guardian.
Armenia, Turkey and Azerbaijan are the most popular destinations. The Russians are willing to pay between 22,000 and 28,000 euros for a seat in a private plane. Renting a jet with eight seats currently costs between 90,000 and 156,000 euros, which is many times more expensive than the normal tariff.
Bykow added that his company had started using larger aircraft to meet demand and be able to lower prices. But that's not enough. "We just can't find enough places for everyone," the entrepreneur explained.
But it's not just millionaires who are chasing private jets. Some companies charter planes to fly out their male employees. According to the Russian newspaper Kommersant, a video game design company from Moscow flew out 100 employees and their families in a rented plane.
"We're getting a whole new customer base, both companies and people who have never flown privately before," said Simonow. "There are many who still have some money left and want to leave."
An employee of one of the Moscow concierge service companies described the situation: "Most of our young male customers left after Putin announced the mobilization last week. Before that I was busy booking tables in restaurants and bars at the Patriarch's ponds." , he said, referring to a trendy area in Moscow. "Now I just search flight booking websites to find the last seat on a flight to Yerevan."