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Tunisia Plans Direct Flight to Moscow to Boost Tourism, Trade With Russia

Tunisian Ambassador to Russia Ali Goutali said that Tunisia plans to launch a direct flight to Moscow in an effort to boost trade with Russia and increase tourism flow.

MOSCOW (Sputnik), Svetlana Alexandrova – Tunisia plans to launch a direct flight to Moscow in an effort to boost trade with Russia and increase tourism flow, Tunisian Ambassador to Russia Ali Goutali told Sputnik.

"We have a representative of Tunisair who has arrived to Moscow and who is working on the establishment of the direct flight from Moscow to Tunisia," Goutali said, explaining that the carrier had a direct flight that was cancelled two years ago and "now it will be resumed with a possibility of putting freight services."

According to Goutali, there are a lot of opportunities for Tunisian businesses to export to Russia, particularly in view of the food embargo that Russia has imposed on a range of states, however, some of Tunisia’s trade options are limited because there is no direct maritime link with Russia.

The ambassador told Sputnik that Tunisia will try to put a direct flight to Moscow into service "as soon as possible," not only to boost trade, but also to expand tourism flow.

"We need to find regular flights for tourists in addition to charter flights," Goutali said.

"I think 2016 will be a promising year for the Tunisian tourism industry in terms of tourist flow from Russia," Goutali said, explaining that now "we [Tunisia] have lots of chances, particularly, in light of what had happened with other countries, I mean, Egypt and Turkey."

Russia imposed a ban on flights into and out of Egypt after a Russian-operated Airbus A321 crashed on October 31 en route from the Egyptian resort of Sharm el-Sheikh to St. Petersburg, killing all 224 people on board.

Tunisian Minister of Tourism Amel Karboul speaks to journalists in the Tunisian island of Djerba on May 18, 2014 - Sputnik International
Tunisia Tourism Minister to Discuss Russian Tourists Flow in Moscow
Russia has also imposed a ban on charter flights to and from Turkey, in response to the downing of a Russian Su-24 attack aircraft over Syria by a Turkish jet in November 2015.

According to Goutali, Tunisia now has an opportunity to benefit from closer trade and tourism ties with Russia.

"We would like to promote export to Russia. For this reasons this Friday, would be held some presentations and seminars by the Russian Federal Customs Services that traveled to Tunisia along with a chairman of the Russia-Tunisia Business Council and some businessmen, who are already exporting to Russia, will talk about their experiences," Goutali said.

According to the ambassador, an array of issues will be addressed at the event, including on what concerns the logistical front.

"The Tunisian Ministry of Trade and the National Office for Promotion of Export initiated a promotional day about Russia for the Tunisian exporters to know a bit about the opportunities exporting to Russia, particularly, agricultural products in the light of the food embargo with regard to some EU countries and recently Turkey," Goutali explained in an interview with Sputnik.

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