The UK government has imposed fresh sanctions on major Russian airlines, saying it will prevent them from “cashing in” on their unused landing slots at major British airports worth up to £50 million.
The restrictions will affect state-owned Aeroflot – Russia’s largest airline – plus Ural Airlines and Rossiya Airlines.
The news comes as transport secretary Grant Shapps takes up the presidency of the International Transport Forum, which he will use to call for a united response against Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
Shapps said: “The UK was one of the first nations to implement sanctions on Putin and his allies; we forbade entrance to their ships and planes, strangling them of the privilege to benefit from global trade and commerce.
“Today, the UK government has built on the strong action we have already taken against Russia’s flagship carrier Aeroflot, along with Rossiya and Ural Airlines.
“This means they will be unable to use their expensive landing slots at UK airports. Our actions will also prevent Russia from selling the slots and cashing in on up to £50 million.”
Foreign Secretary Liz Truss added, “As long as Putin continues his barbarous assault on Ukraine, we will continue to target the Russian economy. We’ve already closed our airspace to Russian airlines.
“Every economic sanction reinforces our clear message to Putin – we will not stop until Ukraine prevails.:
Previous UK sanctions have previously banned Russia from the UK’s airspace and waters and banned the export of aviation goods and technology.
The government announcement added: “Hard-hitting economic sanctions are also having a long-term impact on Russia’s economy. While the Kremlin has managed to stabilise the rouble, Russia is still heading for the deepest recession since the collapse of the Soviet Union.”