UK flights to and over Russia have been banned by the country’s civil aviation authority in retaliation for a British ban on Aeroflot in UK airports and airspace.
Rosaviatsiya said that all flights by UK carriers to Russia as well as transit flights are banned from Friday.
It is acting, it said, in response to the “unfriendly decisions” by the British authorities who banned the Russian flag carrier Aeroflot as part of sanctions over Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
BA avoiding Russian airspace
British Airways has said it is now avoiding Russian airspace for overflights and cancelled its flight to Moscow on Friday, February 25, 2022.
Luis Gallego, CEO of British Airways owner, IAG, said: “Following the UK government decision to ban Aeroflot from landing in the UK, we have taken the decision not use Russian airspace for overflights.
“We are avoiding Russian airspace for the time being. The impact for us is not huge because right now we are only flying to a small number of destinations in Asia and we can reroute our flights.”
Virgin Atlantic has said it has cancelled its cargo-only flights between London and Shanghai, which fly four times a week and the airline says it’s looking for alternative routes.
Four flights between the two countries, two each by BA and Aeroflot, have been cancelled on Friday, aviation analytics firm Cirium said.
A total of 24 passenger flights were scheduled to depart the UK for Russia (and vice versa) over the previous week, Cirium added.
On Thursday, Boris Johnson announced what he called the “largest set of sanctions ever imposed anywhere by the UK government” on Russia.
Putin’s former relative sanctioned
Five more Russian oligarchs known to be close to the Kremlin have been targeted, including Russian President Vladimir Putin’s former son-in-law.
In all, the prime minister said, more than 100 businesses and individuals will be restricted, including “all the major manufacturers that support Putin’s war machine”.
In the US, President Joe Biden was targeting Russian banks, oligarchs and high-tech sectors, while deploying more troops to Germany to bolster NATO.
Mr Johnson added that there are also plans to introduce legislation that would limit the amount of deposits Russian nationals will be able to hold in UK bank accounts.
Ministers, he said, would work with G7 and NATO allies to shut off the country’s access to the SWIFT payment system.
But Ukrainian president, Volodymyr Zelenskyy said in an address early on Friday sanctions alone were not doing enough to deter Russia.
Source: Sky News