Ukraine crisis: UK flights banned over Russian air space

All UK flights that travel to and over Russia have been banned in retaliation to a British ban on one of Russia’s airlines.

The UK had put a ban on Aeroflot flights in the nation as part of sanctions being imposed on the Russian Government after Vladimir Putin ordered the invasion of Ukraine.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced the ban in parliament and the UK Civil Aviation Authority said it had suspended Aeroflot’s foreign carrier permit.

Now the Russian Civil Aviation Authority has said that all flights by UK carriers to Russia as well as transit flights have been banned, starting on Friday.

READ MORE: Reports world’s largest plane destroyed at Ukraine airport

It came after Prime Minister Boris Johnson unveiled the “largest and most severe” package of UK sanctions Russia has faced to punish Vladimir Putin.

They included measures to hit five more oligarchs, including the Russian president’s former son-in-law, and to target more than 100 businesses and individuals.

Mr Johnson said he was sanctioning “all the major manufacturers that support Putin’s war machine”, will ban Aeroflot from touching down planes in the UK and will freeze the assets of all major Russian banks, including immediately against VTB.

However, the UK, the US and the EU are facing calls to go further to exclude Russia from the Swift international payment system, a move backed by the PM but is facing resistance in Europe.

Defence Secretary Ben Wallace had earlier ruled out the UK helping enforce a no-fly zone over Ukraine because the RAF fighting Russian jets would trigger a “war across Europe”.

Yesterday a flight radar showed a huge gap in Ukranian airspace as the Russian invasion on the ground got underway. 

READ MORE: Skies empty above Ukraine as war breaks out on ground


Ukraine State Air Traffic Services Enterprise said on its website that the country’s airspace was closed to civilian flights from 0045 GMT on Thursday. Air traffic services were suspended.

The European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) said airspace in Russia and Belarus within 100 nautical miles of their borders with Ukraine could also pose safety risks.

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