Russian airlines will continue to perform direct flights to Ukraine. This opinion was expressed by the head of the Association of Air Transport Operators, Vladimir Tasun, the Interfax news agency reports.

According to the expert, the Ukrainian sanctions on Russian airlines will most likely affect transit flights. "But it is not yet clear how the sanctions mechanism will operate," said Tasun.

According to him, the association estimates Russian airline companies’ additional costs resulting from the need to bypass Ukraine "at several tens of millions of dollars."

The Russian Ministry of Transport said on Thursday, 17 September, that the aviation authorities have not yet received notification of possible cancellation of flights to Ukraine.

Russian airlines came under Ukrainian sanctions "in the form of restrictions, partial or complete termination of transit of resources, flights, and transportation through the territory of Ukraine" on 16 September. In total, the sanctions affect 17 airlines, including the largest airlines Aeroflot, Transaero, and Siberia. Interestingly, the third largest Russian airline, UTair, is not on the sanctions list.

Airlines have not yet commented on the sanctions. Aeroflot flies to Kiev, Odessa, and the Russian-annexed Crimea. The carrier will start operating flights to Kharkiv in October. Transaero and Siberia (brand name S7 Airlines) also operate flights to Kiev, Odessa, and the Crimea.