The UK has revised and strengthened its ban on Russian aircraft entering British Airspace. Formerly the ban only applied to Russian flag carrier Aeroflot, but from today onwards will apply to all Russian aircraft. The sanctions also prohibit the export of aviation technology and give the UK Government new powers to detain Russian planes.


Britain closes airspace to Russia

British Foreign Secretary Liz Truss announced a new suite of aircraft sanctions for Russia this morning (Wednesday 9 March 2022). The last set of aviation sanctions was introduced on 24 February, the day Russia invaded. Britain then was among the first to ban Russian airline Aeroflot from its skies.

Liz Truss
British Foreign secretary Liz Truss | © Evening Standard

This new set of sanctions expands the ban to include all aircraft owned, operated or chartered by anyone connected with Russia or designated individuals or entities. Following the previous sanctions, Russia banned all UK aircraft from entering its airspace, and this new aviation ban will settle the score.

Aviation trading ceased

Additionally, Britain will cease exports of all aviation or space-related items to Russia, including insurance services. This follows similar actions carried out by the EU in its package of sanctions late last month. Notably, the EU package included the cessation of all aircraft leasing to Russia, which left lessors in a frantic dash to try and repossess their aircraft. Perhaps in recognition of this, the new UK rules give new powers to the government to detain Russian planes and remove aircraft belonging to designated individuals from the UK register. However, despite these new powers, it is unlikely that we will see any repossessions, as Russia has ordered its airlines to keep their leased planes within Russia.


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