Russian Prime Minister, Mikhail Mishustin said on Monday that the country is planning to lift restrictions on flights to and from 52 countries beginning April 9, as part of efforts to decrease COVID-19-related regulations.
According to the Prime Minister, Russia will begin flight services to and from Argentina, South Africa, and other “friendly countries.”
This includes nations who have not approved the latest round of Western sanctions imposed on Moscow in response to its invasion of Ukraine, which Moscow describes as a “special operation” to demilitarise its neighbour.
It is worth mentioning that Russia imposed strict travel restrictions at the start of the Covid-19 pandemic in March 2020, many of which are still in effect, but it has gradually expanded the list of nations considered safe for air travel.
According to Russia’s coronavirus task team, other nations with which Russia will restart flights after April 9 include;
- Peru, and
Mishustin further stated that Russia might relax travel restrictions over the Russian-Chinese border.
Russia Closed Its Airspace
In reaction to Ukraine-related sanctions targeting its aviation sector, Russia has banned its airspace to aircraft from 36 nations, including all 27 members of the European Union. Western governments’ punitive actions have also caused Western corporations to cancel leasing arrangements with Russian airlines for over 500 aircraft.
The restrictions also prohibit Russian airlines from purchasing aircraft components or maintenance services from Europe or the United States, compounding the strain on the world’s 11th largest aviation market from a prohibition on utilising North American and European airspace.
Aeroflot Suspends All International Flights
Aeroflot, the flag carrier of Russia, suspend all international flights from Tuesday, 08th March 2022 (00:00 Moscow time) due to additional circumstances that prevent the performance of flights.
According to the airline, the temporary suspension of international flights will also apply to international destinations scheduled by its subsidiaries Rossiya and Avrora airlines (flights in the SU5400-5799 and SU5950-6999 range)