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80 Kazakhstan travel agencies to claim damages from Turkish companies

27 february 2014, 13:11
A tourist near Istanbul's Blue Mosque ©Reuters
A tourist near Istanbul's Blue Mosque ©Reuters
78 Kazakhstan travel agencies have requested the General Prosecutor's Office to assist them in claiming damages from Turkish companies over disrupted tours in 2013, Tengrinews reports.

In summer 2013 hundreds of Kazakhstan tourists had to wait in Turkish airports not being able to return home from their vacations on schedule becauseTurkish Sky Airlines went bankrupt and Turkish Qualitum Tour failed to take the required actions in relation to the situation.

“We have already collected documents from 50 travel agencies of Almaty, 16 companies from Astana and 12 agencies from other region of Kazakhstan," the Director of the Kazakhstan Tourist Association (KTA) Rashida Shaikenova said.

"Documents confirming that the companies incurred losses were submitted to the Prosecutor's Offices of Almaty, Astana and the Prosecutor General’s Office. The Prosecutor General’s Office made an inquiry to Turkey. The Turkish government has responded. The Ministry of Justice of Turkey confirmed that claiming damages in court is possible. Now we are waiting to the legal proceedings to move forward," she added.

She did not name of the amount of damage that the companies are going to claim, but according to the calculations made after the incident, the losses are estimated at $10 million. However that amount the companies will be claiming maybe less than that, because not all the companies who suffered losses have provided the confirming documents so far.

In summer 2013 when hundreds of Kazakhstan tourists could not return home from their vacations in Turkey because of the bankruptcy of Turkish Sky Airlines, Kazakhstan's Emergency Ministry had to arrange flights. It sent several aircrafts to bring the Kazakhstan nationals home. The Kazakhstan Government spent around a million dollars on the “rescue” operation.

After this unfortunate situation, Kazakhstan introduced changes into its legislation limiting foreign companies from making charter flights from Kazakhstan. Only Kazakhstan-based carriers can now make such flights. The amendments sprouted a lot of controversy in the Kazakhstan society. Some believe that the ban will boost development of local air companies, while others think that going abroad for a vocation will become a problem, because Kazakh companies lack enough airplanes to meet the market's demand.

By Roza Yessenkulova

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