Two of the seven regular weekly flights between Ashgabad and Moscow performed by the Turkmenian Airlines have been cancelled, a RIA Novosti correspondent was told by a source in the Turkmenian Airlines office. This decision has been taken "until further notice because of the absence of passengers."
Now it has become impossible to fly to Moscow on Tuesdays and Thursdays.
Meanwhile, according to the information provided by the Turkmenian Airlines, air tickets to Moscow were sold out or reserved until mid-July even before "permissive" exit visas were introduced on April 22.
The passengers who bought tickets in advance may leave the country without an exit visa. The consular department of the Foreign Ministry examines papers during a month and may deny exit without explanation.
At present tickets are sold only to passengers who have permissive exit visas or a resettler status - a document introduced in keeping with a bilateral agreement signed between the two countries last century. One is to wait at least three months to get a resettler status.
The unilateral introduction by the Turkmenian authorities of permissive exit visas since April 22 for Turkmenian residents, who also have Russian citizenship, denies a possibility of unhindered air flights to Russia to about 100,000 people in Turkmenistan.
The introduction of exit visas has affected also other people - the flights of Turkmenian airmen to Tashkent and Bangkok have been cancelled as well.
The remarks from the Pope came as "a very strong step towards degradation," "given the rather massive nature of homosexuality" among the Catholic clergy.