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The airline is said to be part of Russia's hybrid operation, planning a direct route to Finland

Southwind Airlines was founded in 2022, shortly after the large-scale Russian attack on Ukraine. The airline is said to be transporting migrants from Turkey to Russia and Belarus, so they can try to enter the European Union. German Bild writes who first reported on this issue.

The company already flies between Turkey and Russia, and the first flight took off from Istanbul to Minsk in Belarus on Saturday morning, according to Yle.

The company says that in April it will begin operating direct flights between Antalya, Turkey, and Helsinki on Monday On the company's website.

Tickets are 200 euros

A ticket with the low-cost airline between Turkey and Belarus is said to cost around 200 euros. The route is two hours shorter than Belarusian state-owned airline Belavias, which is subject to EU sanctions and is forced to fly in an arc over Russia.

Bild has learned that Southwind is headquartered in Turkey, but uses three Russian aircraft and Russian personnel, and is owned by the Russian company Pegas Touristik.