Staunton, May 21 – A useful way to distinguish between Russians travelling abroad who plan to return from those who are emigrating is the share buying one-way tickets. Before the pandemic, a third of those purchasing tickets to foreign countries bought one-way tickets. Since the start of Putin’s war at the end of February, purchases of one-way tickets have skyrocketed.
In March, according to figures compiled by Russia’s Aeroclub company, 70 percent of the tickets Russians purchased to travel abroad were one-way rather than roundtrip, far higher than at any time in the past. In April, the share of such tickets fell to 46 percent (rbc.ru/business/23/05/2022/628530959a79478e21e21410).
There is another reason to think that the purchase of one-way tickets is a good indicator of an intention to emigrate is this: Russians purchased one-way tickets most often to countries which don’t require visas from Russians and thus are easier places for those who want to leave to go.
Four of these are former Soviet republics – Armenia, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan – and three are in what Russians still call “the far abroad” – Israel, Turkey, and the United Arab Emirates.