Britain announced new sanctions against the Russian airline sector today which will bar Aeroflot, Ural Airlines and Rossiya Airlines from selling their unused, lucrative landing slots at UK airports. The move is expected to prevent Russia from cashing in on an estimated £50 million.
The UK government's decision comes as its 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 military action in Ukraine.
Aeroflot is Russia's largest airline and among the top 20 largest airlines in the world. It is majority owned by the Russian government. The UK, along with international partners, sanctioned the CEO of Aeroflot Mikhail Igorevich Poluboyarinov in March.
Rossiya Airlines, otherwise known as Russian Airlines, is one of Russia’s oldest and largest airlines, and is a part of state-owned Aeroflot.
Ural Airlines, one of the largest airlines in Russia, was previously part of Aeroflot.
"We've already closed our airspace to Russian airlines. Today we're making sure they can't cash in their lucrative landing slots at our airports. Every economic sanction reinforces our clear message to Putin – we will not stop until Ukraine prevails," said UK Foreign Secretary Liz Truss.
The Boris Johnson government also said that due to the hard-hitting economic sanctions, Russia's domestic vehicle sales have dropped by 80% partly due to a lack of components – which is also reducing their ability to produce military vehicles.
"Russia's vital exports of energy are also shrinking – with crude oil exports down 30% in April and expected to fall further as sanctions bite. Through co-ordinated action across the G7 to phase out oil imports, alongside the banning of critical oil refining and catalyst goods, international allies are tightening the vice on Putin’s most trusted revenue stream," said the British Foreign Ministry.