Russian civil aviation regulator has banned British airlines flights from landing at Russia’s airports and from crossing its airspace.
As per the Russian authorities, the move came as a response to “the unfriendly decisions by the UK aviation authorities.”
On Thursday, the UK banned Russian national airlines Aeroflot from landing in Britain. The measure was part of sanctions enforced by Britain after Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine.
As per the UK Defence Secretary, Ben Wallace said, “I think that comes as retaliation for us yesterday banning Aeroflot from using and landing in the United Kingdom. That’s their tit for tat response.”
Meanwhile, Russian civil aviation authority Rosaviatsia said, “The 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 aircrafted owned, leased or operated by a person associated with Russia or registered in Russia.”
British Airways said it was notifying customers on cancelled services and would offer full refunds in a statement.
The airline said, “We apologise for the inconvenience but this is clearly a matter beyond our control. We will continue to look over the situation closely.”
British Airways operates typically three flights per week between London and Moscow.
At the same time, Ukraine’s airspace closed on Thursday after Russian forces called upon full-scale military operation into the Ukraine.
Moldova also added that it was closing its airspace and Belarus shut part of its airspace on Thursday.
The European Union Aviation Safety Agency has alerted safety risks in flying in airspace near Ukraine’s borders, including in Russia.
At the same time, the regulator said, “There is a risk of both international targeting and misidentification of civil aircraft.”