Chinese tourist companies are trying to accommodate some 300 Russian tourists stranded in Beijing by air traffic disruption, the Russian embassy in Beijing said on Monday.
A cloud of ash from an eruption on the Eyjafjallajokull Glacier in Iceland, which began on April 14, has disabled air traffic throughout central and northern Europe, leaving thousands of travelers stranded and forcing more than 20 European countries to close their airspace.
"Companies act differently - some take money for accommodation, others provide free accommodation for one or two days," Chief of Consular Division Leonid Ignatenko said.
"We all know Russian tourists; they run out of money by the end of their holidays," he added.
Chinese air companies say the air disruption caused by a volcanic eruption in Iceland is not their fault and so tourists' financial losses are not their responsibility.
Russia has not closed its airspace but Air China has cancelled all flights from Beijing to Europe, including Moscow. Russian airline Aeroflot is still running.
An Air China spokesman earlier told RIA Novosti that air traffic will be stopped for some time "due to the emergency conditions." The spokesman said the company was "not responsible for tourists' accommodation and food, but is ready to help them prolong their visas, if necessary."
"The number of Russian tourists in Beijing is constantly changing, some are able to leave the city on Aeroflot planes," a Russian embassy representative said, adding that Aeroflot prices have rocketed from $ 600-700 per ticket to $2,000.
BEIJING, April 19 (RIA Novosti)