New group of Russians stranded in Bulgaria
A further 173 Russian tourists were stranded Friday on Bulgaria's Black Sea coast, a day after the government declared over a blockade of hundreds of holidaymakers amid a payment row, state radio said.
The tourists were scheduled to leave the eastern city of Burgas Friday afternoon on a charter flight to Saint Petersburg, which was cancelled. They could not find tickets for another plane as all regular Saint Petersburg flights are booked until end-September, the radio said.
Russian media reported that a second Saint Petersburg-bound flight from Varna was also cancelled Thursday night.
Hundreds of Russian tourists as well as many Finns, Latvians and Estonians waited for days before they could return home from their summer vacations on the Black Sea when air carrier Bulgaria Air cancelled their flights over unpaid debts by tour operator Alma Tour.
Alma Tour's partners in the respective countries were forced to pay again for charters to bring their clients home.
Bulgaria's government had declared the crisis over on Thursday, when the last stranded holidaymakers were transported home but new blockades appeared to be looming as Bulgaria Air kept cancelling flights.
© 2011 AFP