- British commercial jets usually fly over Russia for routes to Asian destinations
- They’ll need to take a longer route, although Russia will lose out on ‘overfly’ fees
- UK’s own ban applies to Russian carrier Aeroflot and jets used by oligarchs
Russia’s civil aviation authority today banned UK flights to and over Russia in retaliation for a British ban on Aeroflot.
The move has implications for flights between the UK and Asia, although many airlines – such as British Airways – had already begun avoiding the country’s airspace.
The Kremlin’s decision came after the Department of Transport announced it had barred Russian commercial and civilian aircraft from the UK skies from midnight last night.
Russia’s aviation authority said today: ‘A restriction was introduced on the use of Russian airspace for flights of aircrafts owned, leased or operated by an organisation linked to or registered in the UK.
The ban took effect from 11:00 am Moscow time (8:00 GMT), it said, and included flights transiting through Russian airspace.
Explaining the significance of the move, aviation analyst Alex Macheras tweeted: ‘UK airlines rely on Russian airspace for flights to the Far East, including South Korea, Japan, and China.
‘[There will be] costly rerouting & extra flight times ahead for airlines as aircraft will now track south, across the Middle East.
‘Russian airspace is one of the most expensive in the world (for overflight) and airlines pay Russian govt a lot for its use, so Russia loses here too.’
Meanwhile, the UK Department of Transport issued a Notice to Airmen (NOTAM) announcing its ban would affect all aircraft ‘owned, chartered or operated by a person connected with Russia‘.
This encompasses commercial aircraft, such as those operated by Russian flag carrier Aeroflot – but also private planes used by oligarchs.
The ban includes airspace over the UK’s territorial seas – although it will not prevent jets flying outside the 12-mile territorial limit.
It will start at midnight and will continue until 11.59pm on May 23.
The Civil Aviation Authority told MailOnline yesterday: ‘Following the announcement by the Prime Minister in Parliament today, the UK Civil Aviation Authority has suspended the foreign carrier permit held by Aeroflot Russia Airlines (Aeroflot) until further notice.
‘This means that Aeroflot will not be permitted to operate flights to or from the United Kingdom until further notice.’
MailOnline has approached the Department of Transport for a comment.
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