The United Kingdom has imposed an additional round of sanctions on Russian carriers, stripping them of their slots at the country's airports with no possibility of reselling them or receiving any other compensation.

"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," Foreign Secretary Liz Truss said.

"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 GBP50 million pounds (USD62.5 million)," Transport Secretary Grant Shapps added.

Airport Coordination Limited (ACL-UK) later clarified that the airlines will not receive any slots for the upcoming Winter 2022/23 season, even though they are entitled to them under the historic slot holding rule. In addition, ACL will not grant them any alleviation for the Summer 2022 seasons, when the airlines are unable to use the historically held slots due to the UK airspace ban. As such, this will result in them failing to meet their slot usage threshold requirements and consequently losing their slots for the Summer 2023 season, even if the flight bans and sanctions have been lifted by then.

"Slots over which Aeroflot, Rossiya and Ural currently hold historic rights for the Winter 2022 season at UK coordinated airports will be returned to the slot pool for re-allocation to other carriers. ACL will issue further guidance shortly," the coordinator said.

ch-aviation analysis ACL-UK's seasonal reports indicate that the Russian airlines currently hold the following portfolio of slots at London Heathrow airport for the Summer 2022 season:

  • Aeroflot: 2,046 slots, and
  • Ural Airlines: 54 slots.

Rossiya used to operate to London Gatwick but has not been allocated any slots at the airport either for the past winter season or the current summer season.