Russia has ordered the grounding of all regular and charter flights to and from the country starting Friday, reported Reuters, citing information from the government website.
Exceptions to the rule include Russian airlines flying to other countries to bring citizens back and flights authorized by special government decisions, according to Reuters
Scheduled flights linking Moscow with the world’s largest capital cities are also being allowed to continue – a decision which means that state-owned flag carrier Aeroflot has been granted a virtual monopoly on such international services.
According to an instruction from the Russian government, aviation authority Rosaviatsiya has, from March 23, suspended scheduled passenger flights to all foreign countries. Charter flights will continue until all Russian citizens have been repatriated, provided that “flights to Russia carry only Russian citizens, whilst flights to other countries carry their respective citizens, or citizens of third countries,” says the regulator.
With these developments putting even more pressure on all of Russia’s carriers, which are still hopeful that the domestic market will remain open, large charter leisure carriers such as Azur Air, Royal Flight and IFly are already suspending almost 100 per cent of their operations.