Russia’s Federal Air Transport Agency said in a statement on Friday that it is banning flights registered in the UK, as well as aircraft owned, chartered or operated by a person associated with the UK, from crossing the country’s airspace.
“We apologize for the inconvenience, but this is clearly something outside of our control,” British Airways said in a statement. “We notify customers about canceled services and offer a full refund.”
British Airways flew three times a week to Moscow. It said it would also have to redirect some services to Asia, which could cause longer flight times.
According to its website, Russian airline Aeroflot was operating direct flights between Moscow and London’s Heathrow and Gatwick airports.
“No aircraft on a scheduled service owned, chartered or operated by a person associated with Russia or registered in Russia will fly in UK airspace,” Britain’s Department for Transport said in a bulletin. The restrictions went into effect at midnight, and are set to expire on May 23.
The European Union’s aviation safety agency said that Ukrainian skies and airspace in Russia and Belarus within 100 nautical miles from the border with Ukraine could pose risks, Reuters reported.
Luis Gallego, CEO of IAG, the parent company of British Airways that owns Iberia, Aer Lingus and Vueling.
– Rob North, Pete Montaigne, Anna Chernova and Vasco Cutovio contributed reporting.
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