Russia closes its airspace to British Airlines

LONDON, UKRussia has banned British airlines from landing at its airports or crossing its airspace, its state civil aviation regulator said on Friday.





The move follows London's ban on the flights of Russian flag carrier Aeroflot imposed in response to Russia's invasion of Ukraine.

Russia said the move was a response to "the unfriendly decisions by the UK aviation authorities".

On Thursday, the UK banned Russia's national airline Aeroflot from landing in Britain.

The measure was part of sanctions introduced following Moscow's invasion of Ukraine.

UK Defence Secretary Ben Wallace told ITV: "I think that's their retaliation for us yesterday banning Aeroflot from using and landing in the United Kingdom. That's their tit for tat response."

Russia's civil aviation authority Rosaviatsia said: "This measure was taken in accordance with the provisions of the Intergovernmental Air Services Agreement between Russia and the UK as a response to unfriendly decisions by the UK aviation authorities regarding the restriction on regular flights of aircraft owned, leased or operated by a person associated with Russia or registered in Russia."

British Airways said in a statement it was notifying customers of canceled services and would offer full refunds.

"We apologize for the inconvenience but this is clearly a matter beyond our control," the airline said.

"We will continue to monitor the situation closely."
British Airways normally operates three flights per week each way between London and Moscow.

Following Russia's announcement, Virgin Atlantic also said flight paths had been adjusted for some of its services between the UK, Pakistan, and India. Flight times on these routes will be extended by between 15 minutes and an hour.

Virgin Atlantic apologized for the delays, adding: "The safety and security of our customers and people always come first and we're monitoring the situation in Ukraine and Russia extremely carefully following the escalation of conflict."

British Airways and Virgin Atlantic flights between Delhi, Islamabad, and London are taking southern routes to avoid Russian airspace.

Via BBC 

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