Tour operators and air lines should resolve the situation which has arisen from the cancellation of flights after an ash cloud spread over Europe from a volcano eruption in Iceland, the Russian Federal Tourism Agency said.
"In the current situation, tour operators and airlines should approach the situation with flexibility and try to resolve it in the tourists' interests," the agency said.
The Russian Association of Tour Operators said on Friday airlines and tour operators are not obliged to refund the cost of tickets for delayed or cancelled flights due to the closure of European airspace, because volcanic eruptions are classified under the "uncontrollable circumstances" category.
The federal air travel agency reported that 185 flights from Russian airports had been delayed or cancelled.
As of 10:00 Moscow Time (07:00 GMT), 85 flights at Moscow Sheremetovo Airport had been cancelled or delayed and 3,000 people were waiting for flights at the airport. Of that number, 850 transit passengers had been put up in a hotel. Another 47,000 have returned their tickets.
Hundreds of Russian tourists are stranded at Beijing airport because the air company Air China has cancelled flights to Moscow for the second day running. A source in the Russian Embassy in Beijing said the Chinese air company was not offering any help to the stranded Russian tourists.
"The airline and other Chinese authorities [...] have not resolved these problems and have demonstrated the extremely low level of their crisis management capabilities," the source said
MOSCOW, April 17 (RIA Novosti)