Government to ground all international flights from Friday
Тhe Russian government has instructed the Federal Air Transport Agency (Rosaviatsiya) to suspend all regular and charter flights on March 27, except for flights aimed at bringing Russians home.
Тhe move followed a meeting on Wednesday of the government’s Coordination Council for the prevention of the coronavirus.
“Regular and charter flights from Russian airports to and from foreign airports are to be suspended starting at midnight on March 27, 2020, with the exception of flights aimed at bringing Russian nationals back from overseas… and flights carried out in accordance with the government’s decisions,” the government’s order reads.
By March 27, the Foreign Ministry will need to provide the Transport Ministry, the consumer watchdog, the Health Ministry, the Interior Ministry and flag carrier Aeroflot with the lists of Russians seeking to return home.
Russian citizens unable to return to the country due to coronavirus restrictions, are recommended to take the necessary measures to protect their health and bear in mind that they will have to undergo a 14-day quarantine upon return to Russia.
The head of the Rosaviatsiya Alexander Neradko said earlier this month that the situation with the closure of international flights from Russia can lead to a bankruptcy of certain air carriers.
“The decline in revenues of airlines due to international routes closing with concurrent growth of costs in case of the ruble rate drop can lead to huge losses and challenges in operations of civil aviation entities. Bankruptcy risks actually arise, in the first instance for air carriers, and for other organizations,” the official said.