World Economy

Ukraine Slaps Painful Sanctions on All Russian Airlines

Ukraine Slaps Painful Sanctions  on All  Russian Airlines Ukraine Slaps Painful Sanctions  on All  Russian Airlines

All Russian airlines, including Aeroflot, are being fully or partially prohibited from overflying or flying to and from the territory of Ukraine.

According to a document on President Petro Poroshenko’s website, the list includes the largest Russian airline Aeroflot and its three subsidiaries–Donavia, Orenburg Airlines and Rossiya Airlines, RT reported.

Kiev has also banned AK Bars Aero which had its license revoked in January, and Polet that stopped operations in December.

As of Thursday, Borispol Airport in Kiev expects scheduled flights from the banned S7, Aeroflot and Rossiya airlines without any changes.

Ukrainian sanctions also affect 28 Russian banks, including Gazprombank and Rosselkhozbank, but do not affect Sberbank, VTB and Vnesheconombank which have subsidiaries in Ukraine.

The black list also includes four banks that have lost their licenses to operate in Russia. State TV channels and a helicopter design and manufacturing company Russian Helicopters didn’t escape the embargo, either.

Poroshenko stressed the decision was made “in coordination with our partners from the European Union and the United States.”

Last August, the Russian government warned the EU of a possible ban on western airlines flying through its airspace if flagship carrier Aeroflot was included in the sanctions list.

 Millions in Loss

Ukrainian sanctions could cost Russian airlines tens of millions of dollars by barring them from flying through Ukraine’s territory, extending flight times to popular destinations by up to 40 minutes, the Tass news agency reported.

The move would be a blow to a Russian airline industry already struggling with the country’s recession, which has collapsed demand for international travel and forced government bailouts and industry consolidation.

Ukraine stepped up its sanctions on Russia on Wednesday. A list of over 400 individuals and 90 legal entities targeted most of Russia’s largest airlines.

The companies face “limitations, [and the] partial or complete termination of transit of resources, flights and cargoes on the territory of Ukraine,” according to the order published on the Ukrainian president’s website.

But if fully implemented, the measures would be costly. According to Vladimir Tasun, head of Russia’s Association of Air Transport Operators, a transit ban would add up to 40 minutes to flight times to Turkey, a popular Russian holiday destination, and cause losses of “tens of millions of dollars” to airlines, Tass reported.

Ukraine is not the only country to impose airspace restrictions. Russia in August last year barred Ukrainian airlines from passing through its territory en route to the Caucasus and threatened to ban western carriers from crossing its terrain in response to US and European sanctions during the Ukraine crisis.