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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

May Holiday Flights to Spain Overbooked

Tourist agencies have sold more tickets on charter flights to Spain for the May holidays than there are seats on the planes, according to figures from the State Civil Aviation Service.

There are fewer flights this year following a European Union ban on noisy aircraft that took effect earlier this month.

The Russian Association of Tourist Agencies said the problem would be solved and there would be no overbooked flights to Spain for the May holidays.

Certain tour agencies may have sold tickets for flights that have not been confirmed by the aviation service "in the hope that the aviation service will confirm them," Interfax reported an RATA spokesman as saying Wednesday. But the spokesman said "all the passengers can be moved" to other flights.

The aviation service published a list of airlines that could make charter flights to European countries on April 1. Ten air companies were allowed to carry passengers to Spain on 32 flights a week on the 160-seat Tu-154, which meets EU noise requirements. In total, the air companies can carry 5,120 tourists for the holidays.

Tourist agencies, however, have sold about 6,000 tickets on charter flights to Spain for the May holidays, said an official in the aviation service who declined to be identified.

Last year, 300-seat Il-86s flew to Spain, carrying 6,600 passengers during the May holidays. The Il-86 is now banned.

The aviation service has added three new carriers to the list of airlines authorized to fly to Spain during the holidays: Aviaenergo, Avialinii 400 and Bashkirskiye Avialinii, the aviation service official said.

Some tour operators have made arrangements with those carriers.

"We have an agreement with Aviaenergo for four charter flights per week, which fully covers our requirements," said Vladimir Vorobyov, head of Natali Tours.

Agencies are not to blame for selling too many tickets, said an official at a major tour agency who declined to be identified.

The airlines had expected to fly more larger planes and had issued the corresponding number of places for the agencies to sell, the official said.

Furthermore, several airlines that received quotas for flying to Spain do not have aircraft ready for the May holidays, said the aviation service official. Among these airlines are Pulkovo, Sibir and Transaero, the official said.

(Vedomosti, MT)