10 Agustus 2014

[100814.EN.BIZ] Moscow Threatens EU With No-fly Zone Over Russia In Face Of Sanctions

RUSSIAN Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev has threatened to retaliate after the EU grounded an Aeroflot unit using EU sanctions to punish Russia for its annexation of eastern Ukraine, Reuters reports.

The business daily Vedomosti reported European flights to Asia over Siberia could be banned after low-cost carrier Dobrolyot suspended all flights last week because the EU cancelled a leasing agreement because it flies to Crimea.

A source told Russia media ITAR-TASS that Russia's aviation authorities were considering a range of options to restrict EU airlines.

"This could be, for example, to stop a number of charter flights of cargo and passenger airlines which have operating licences on a temporary basis," said the source.

The foreign and transport ministries are considering preventing EU carriers from using Siberia airspace. British Airways, Air France-KLM and Lufthansa would be most affected. Lufthansa is said to operate 180 flights a week over Siberia.

While avoiding Siberia would cost EU carriers more in fuel, Aeroflot receives about US$300 million a year in overflight fees, Volga Dnepr is thought to receive $50 million and Transero, $8 million.

Source : HKSG.

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