Aeroflot, the flag carrier and largest airline of the Russian Federation on Sunday announced that it has decided to cancel all flights to Europe starting, 28th Feb 2022, Monday.
The announcement comes after the United Kingdom imposed a ban on Aeroflot from operating in and out of the United Kingdom. In addition, there’s a ban on the airline using UK airspace.
The Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) of the UK said the country has restricted flights from Aeroflot by suspending its foreign carrier permit. “This means that Aeroflot will not be permitted to operate flights to or from the United Kingdom until further notice,” CAA said.
Following the decision by many countries to restrict their airspace in protest of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, Aeroflot has decided to suspend all flights until further notice.
On Sunday, European Nations and Canada took extraordinary steps to close their airspace to Russian planes in an effort to put pressure on President Vladimir Putin to stop his invasion of Ukraine, the biggest attack on a European state since World War II.
According to Josep Borrell, the European Union’s foreign policy leader, the EU has decided to restrict its airspace to Russian traffic.
“We are shutting down EU airspace for Russian-owned, Russian-registered, or Russian-controlled aircraft,” the head of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, had also announced.
All such flights, even oligarchs’ private jets, will now be unable to land, take off, or fly over any EU country.
Germany stated that its ban would be in effect for three months.
The ban on Russian jets comes as the airline industry continues to deal with the effects of the Covid-19 outbreak, which is still hurting global travel demand.
Germany, Spain, and France have joined the United Kingdom, the Nordic countries, and the Baltic states in placing prohibitions on Russian use of their airspace.
Experts predict that without access to Russia’s airspace, carriers will be forced to divert flights south, avoiding conflict zones in the Middle East.
According to US-based analyst, Robert Mann of R.W. Mann & Company, Inc., a reciprocal airspace restriction between Russia and the United States would result in lengthier flight times for US carriers and crew changes on East Coast flights to Asia.
Certain flights may become prohibitively expensive for US carriers to operate. “It would simply add a lot of expense,” he explained.