Russia Hits Back on Sanctions Bars EU Carriers From Skies
(Bloomberg) — Russia banned airlines from the European Union and a host of other countries in retaliation to sanctions unfurled by the bloc in the wake of the invasion of Ukraine.
The move announced Monday in Moscow formally puts a wide swath of Russia — a key route for travel between Europe and Asia — off-limits for major carriers such as Air France-KLM and Deutsche Lufthansa AG. Those airlines and others, including Finnair Oyj and British Airways owner IAG SA, had already begun going around Russia or removing flights to Seoul, Shanghai, and Tokyo from flight schedules.
The list of 36 destinations includes the U.K., which was already forbidden after becoming the first major nation to bar Aeroflot and other Russian airlines. The British dependency of Jersey and overseas territory Anguilla are also included, though not the U.S.
The move will make it more expensive and time-consuming for Europe’s airlines and air-cargo carriers to make the long transcontinental journeys that have traversed the Siberian route since the 1970s. Finnair, whose main long-haul strategy relies on shuttling European customers from smaller cities through its Helsinki hub, said over the weekend that many flights would no longer make economic sense.
Russia is fighting back against sanctions led by the U.S. and Europe meant to weaken its economy and end the assault on neighboring Ukraine.