Putin backs Aeroflot plan to sell World Cup fans 5-ruble tickets
President Vladimir Putin has endorsed a plan by Russian airline Aeroflot to charge World Cup fans only 5 rubles (9 cents) for flights between cities where Russia's soccer team is playing, RFE/RL reports.
"We want the World Cup to be a great success," Aeroflot Director-General Vitaly Savelyev said in a meeting with Putin on December 28, according to the Kremlin's website.
"We will charge all Russian fans 5 rubles for a one-way trip on all Aeroflot routes to any city that is hosting the World Cup matches," he said.
Putin, who is running for reelection in March and has faced the embarrassment of the Russian Olympic team being banned from the Winter Olympics in February, called the Aeroflot plan "a good idea."
Savelyev said the cheap tickets would be available only for three days before and three days after scheduled games and would be available only for Russian fans who can show they have game tickets.
He said he expects about 70,000 of the cheap tickets to be sold.
"If our team gets to the finals, this number will increase," Savelyev said, adding that "fans should be happy."
The 2018 World Cup is scheduled to be held between June 14 and July 15 in 11 Russian cities, including Moscow, St. Petersburg, Sochi, Kazan, Saransk, Kaliningrad, Volgograd, Rostov-on-Don, Nizhny Novgorod, Yekaterinburg, and Samara.
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