Korean Air (KE, Seoul Incheon) and Asiana Airlines (OZ, Seoul Incheon) have cancelled their passenger flights from Seoul Incheon to and from Russia for at least the next two weeks and have rerouted their cargo flights, saying this was because they were no longer able to refuel their aircraft there following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

According to the ch-aviation capacities module, Korean Air had been operating between Seoul and Moscow Sheremetyevo 5x weekly, Asiana Airlines between Seoul and Moscow Domodedovo 7x weekly, some frequencies of which in each case were cargo flights.

The South Korean carriers said in separate statements - Korean Air on March 4 and Asiana on March 6 - that they would reroute the cargo flights that previously stopped in Moscow, sending them instead directly to destinations in Europe, such as Frankfurt International and Amsterdam Schiphol, without making stops in Russia until March 18.

“We were informed by a Russia-based refuelling service provider that we can no longer refuel our planes at the airport in Moscow,” a Korean Air representative told Reuters.

The official explained that airport refuelling firms were having trouble sourcing jet fuel due to sanctions against Russia, adding that Korean Air would continue to monitor developments in Russia and could make further schedule and routing adjustments.

The decision was not due to sanctions imposed by the Russian government, a Korean Air representative told the Maeil business newspaper, elaborating that refuelling restrictions at Moscow’s airports had taken effect from the early morning of March 5.