Russia has banned British airlines from landing at its airports or crossing its airspace, its state civil aviation regulator said on Friday, February 25.
The move follows London’s ban on the flights of Russian flag carrier Aeroflot imposed in response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
“A restriction was introduced on the use of Russian airspace for flights of aircraft owned, leased or operated by an organisation linked to or registered in the UK,” the Rosaviatsia aviation authority said in a statement.
The ban took effect from 11:00 AM Moscow time (0800 GMT), it said, and included flights transiting through Russian airspace. It said the decision was taken “as a response to unfriendly decisions of the UK aviation authorities”.
British Airways normally operates three flights per week each way between London and Moscow. Virgin Atlantic’s cargo-only flights between London Heathrow and Shanghai, which normally operate four times a week, have also been suspended.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Thursday, February 24 announced an imminent ban on the ability of the Aeroflot airline to operate in the UK as he outlined a new tranche of sanctions against Russia following President Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine.
The largest and most severe package of economic sanctions against Russia tabled in the House of Commons includes a full asset-freeze of Russian state-owned bank VTB and powers to allow the UK to exclude Russian banks from Britain’s financial system.