The Russian government will have to respond asymmetrically if new sanctions are imposed on Russia, and it is not ruling out restrictions on flights through Russian airspace. Russia’s Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev announced this in an interview with Vedomosti.
"If we are restricted, we will have to respond. If Western carriers fly outside our airspace, it may lead to the bankruptcy of many airlines, which are already balancing on the brink of survival," said the Russian prime minister.
At the same time, according to him, this is an undesirable development of events. "This is a bad story. We would like our partners to realize this at some point," he said.
Citing sources, Vedomosti wrote in early August that European airline companies might be banned from performing trans-Siberian flights. According to the publication, discussion of this measure started after the European Union imposed the first round of sanctions on Russia.
Foreign airlines pay the Aeroflot airline overflight fees to use the short trans-Siberian route for flights from the European Union to Asia. According to media reports, airlines save up to USD 30,000 on each flight by flying over Siberia. Lufthansa, British Airways, and Air France are considered the biggest payers.