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Russia Warns Of More Airline Bankruptcies Amid Economic Crisis

Russia warned that more airline companies could go bankrupt like Transaero, the country's second-largest carrier that was forced out of business in October.

"Airlines are accumulating losses, and we do not rule out the risk of airlines going bankrupt if demand does not pick up and traffic does not grow as a result," Deputy Transportation Minister Valery Okulov told lawmakers in Moscow on February 25.

Rosaviation, the Russian air-transport agency, reported that overall passenger traffic in January fell by 6 percent to 5.54 million from a year ago.

Of the total, it said international passenger traffic plunged by 26 percent to just over 2 million, while the number of passengers on domestic routes rose by 11 percent to 3.5 million.

The figures show the dramatic effect of Russia's economic crisis on air travel and foreign vacations, which were also hit by the bombing of a Russian airliner over the Sinai Peninsula in Egypt last fall, killing all 224 people on board.

Russian has also warned citizens against travelling to Turkey, a popular tourist destination, since Ankara shot down a Russian bomber at the Syrian border in November.

Based on reporting by AFP and TASS