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Russia hits back at UK by banning its airplanes from landing or crossing its airspace

Business Insider US
BA in flight. (Unsplash)
BA in flight. (Unsplash)

  • Russia said on Friday that all UK airplanes were banned from entering its airspace. 
  • The ban was a response to "unfriendly decisions" made by UK aviation authorities, Russia said.
  • British Airways told Insider it has cancelled flights to Moscow and is avoiding Russian airspace.
  • For more stories go to www.BusinessInsider.co.za.

Russia has banned all UK airplanes from landing or crossing into its airspace, Reuters first reported on Friday, a day after the British government barred Russian carriers from entering the UK.

Russia's civil aviation regulator announced on Friday morning that any aircraft owned, leased or operated by individuals associated with the UK, or registered there, would not be allowed to enter its airspace.

The move was a response to "unfriendly decisions" made by the UK Aviation Authorities, the Russian regulator said in the announcement.

The UK government banned all Russian airlines – including the country's flag carrier, Aeroflot – from entering its airspace on Thursday.

The decision to restrict Russian flights was part of a fresh round of sanctions announced by the UK government om Thursday following President Vladimir Putin's decision to invade Ukraine.

"Putin's heinous actions will not be ignored, and we will never tolerate those who put people's lives in danger," Grant Shapps, secretary of state for transport in the UK, tweeted on Thursday.

See also | Ignore ‘politics’, says the Russian company that wants to build nuclear in SA about Ukraine

Not long before Russia announced its ban, the owner of British Airways, International Airlines Group, said it was avoiding Russian airspace, CEO Luis Gallego told Reuters.

"We are avoiding Russian airspace for the time being," Gallego told Reuters on Friday. "The impact for us is not huge because right now we are only flying to a small number of destinations in Asia and we can reroute our flights."

A British Airways spokesperson told Insider that the airline has suspended flights to Moscow and would avoid Russian airspace following the announcement of Russia's restrictions.

The latest UK sanctions come on top of moves outlined by London in response to Russia ordering troops into two breakaway regions of Ukraine earlier in the week, which included sanctioning five Russian banks and three individuals.

See also | It’s not a cyber attack, says British Airways as it cancels flights due to IT trouble

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