In an announcement on Thursday morning, the government said state-owned Aeroflot, Russia’s largest airline, Ural Airlines and Rossiya Airlines will now be unable to sell unused, lucrative landing slots at UK airports – preventing Russia from cashing in on an estimated £50 million.
Foreign Secretary Liz Truss said: “As long as Putin continues his barbarous assault on Ukraine, we will continue to target the Russian economy. 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.”
The UK had previously banned Russia from the UK’s airspace and waters and banned the export of aviation goods and technology.
The Foreign Office said sanctions imposed by Britain and its western allies were hurting Russia’s economy. It said crude oil exports were down 30 per cent in April and expected to fall further as sanctions bite.
It added that while the Kremlin has managed to stabilise the rouble, Russia is still heading for the deepest recession since the collapse of the Soviet Union. Forecasts show Russia’s GDP shrinking by between 8.5 per cent and 15 per cent this year, with the IMF expecting the economy to shrink a further 2.3 per cent in 2023.
Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said: “The UK was one of the first nations to implement sanctions on Putin and his allies; we forbade entrance to their ships and planes, strangling them of the privilege to benefit from global trade and commerce.
“Today, the UK Government has built on the strong action we have already taken against Russia’s flagship carrier Aeroflot, along with Rossiya and Ural Airlines. This means they will be unable to use their expensive landing slots at UK airports. Our actions will also prevent Russia from selling the slots, and cashing in on up to £50 million.”