500 Russian tourists stranded in Bulgaria by payment row

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Some 500 Russian tourists were stranded at Bulgaria's Black Sea Burgas airport Friday, grounded by a payment row between their tour operator and Bulgaria Air, state BTA news agency reported.

A Burgas airport official told AFP that "three flights -- two for Moscow and one for Saint Petersburg -- have been suspended" but could not immediately confirm the number of stranded passengers.

The official said the cause of the problem was money owned by tour operator Alma Tour to carrier Bulgaria Air. Alma Tour was not immediately available to comment.

Russian tourists, along with visitors from Germany, are the most numerous overseas holidaymakers in Bulgaria in the summer months.

Almost 100,000 Russian tourists visited Bulgaria in July alone, the latest available statistics showed.

© 2011 AFP

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