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Russia’s flagship airline to halt all international flights except to Belarus in wake of sanctions

Flag carrier will only fly to Minsk outside its own country from Tuesday

Zoe Tidman
Saturday 05 March 2022 16:19 GMT
Sanctions stop Aeroflot flying anywhere outside Russia except Belarus

Russia’s flagship airline, Aeroflot, has said it will halt all international flights - except to Belarus - in the wake of sanctions over the war in Ukraine.

It will stop flying to the rest of the world with the exception of one neighbouring country from Tuesday, it said in a statement.

The flag carrier has been affected by the international response against Russia’s attack on Ukraine, which has killed hundreds of civilians and forced more than a million to flee the country amid missile strikes on cities and heavy fighting across the nation.

A number of countries and regions - including the UK, the European Union and the US - have banned Russian flights from entering their airspaces in response to the invasion, forcing aeroplanes to drastically change routes to avoid them.

A travel technology company also removed Aeroflot from its systems used to book flights, preventing customers from reserving seats with the airline.

The Russian flag carrier announced on Saturday it would be suspending nearly all international flights from Tuesday midnight Moscow time due to circumstances impeding operations.

It would also stop passengers boarding international flights from Sunday, where they have a return trip booked for after the cut-off date of 8 March.

“Passengers of cancelled international flights can apply for a full refund of the ticket price,” the airline said in its statement.

The only remaining flight overseas would be to Minsk, the capital of Belarus, which has been supporting Russia throughout the invasion.

Also on Saturday, the UK told British nationals to leave Russia “by remaining commercial routes” if their presence was not necessary in the country attacking neighbouring Ukraine.

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