‘Delta has withdrawn our codeshare services operated in conjunction with Russian national airline, Aeroflot, effective immediately,’ the Atlanta-based airline said in a corporate statement.
Delta does not fly direct to Russia or Ukraine, but the code-share agreement meant customers of both Delta and Aeroflot could use each airline’s website to book flights on either carrier, making travel between the US and Russia far more straightforward.
‘We have removed our code from Aeroflot-operated services beyond Moscow’s Sheremetyevo Airport and removed Aeroflot’s code from Delta-operated services from Los Angeles and New York-JFK. Accommodations will be made for customers affected by these changes,’ Delta said in a statement.
GROUNDED: Delta Airlines, based in Atlanta, cut ties with the Russian flyer Aeroflot. KLM Dutch Airlines, a Delta partner, also limited its Russia service
Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Thursday banned Aeroflot from landing into Heathrow or any other UK airports.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Thursday banned Aeroflot aviation company from landing into Heathrow or any other UK airports.
Aeroflot operates direct flights from Moscow to four cities in the US, New York, Washington, D.C., Los Angeles and Miami.
Booking was still available for those destinations.
KLM Royal Dutch Airlines, who partners with Delta, told CNBC that it had canceled some flight.
‘We have decided at this time, given the uncertain situation, not to allow our crew to stay overnight in Russia,’ it said in a statement. ‘Therefore, it is not possible to carry out the night flight to Moscow so we have cancelled it.’
Russia’s Federal Agency for Transport, known as Rosaviatsiya, shot back that UK airlines are barred from Russian airspace.
‘This measure was taken in accordance with the provisions of the Intergovernmental Air Services Agreement between Russia and the U.K. as a response to unfriendly decisions by the U.K. aviation authorities regarding the restriction on regular flights of aircraft owned, leased or operated by a person associated with Russia or registered in Russia,’ the agency said in a statement.
Delta Airlines does not fly direct to Ukraine or Russia
This means that flights from Europe to Asia will take much longer and be more expensive due to rerouting and additional fuel costs.
Flights to the far east previously took the most direct route – over the frozen wastelands of Siberia. But escalating tensions mean they must fly over the Middle East in a lengthier route which burns more fuel, and will likely raise ticket prices too.
The flyover ban will cost the Russian airline too, according to aviation analyst Alex Macheras.
United stars Edinson Cavani (left) and Nemanja Matic (right) pictured on an Aeroflot flight
Manchester United previously swapped their flight with Russian state airline Aeroflot and have now cancelled their sponsorship deal in light of the invasion of Ukraine
European countries pay as much as $420 million in overflight charge, he said, most of that money goes to subsidize Aeroflot operation.
‘Russian airspace is one of the most expensive in the world (for overflight) and airlines pay Russian govt *a lot* for its use, so Russia loses here too,’ Macheras tweeted on Friday.
‘Airlines that pay to use Russia’s airspace (Siberian corridor) for overflight are also financially propping up Aeroflot, Russia’s largest airline, which for years & years takes a cut, a steady income, from such overflight fees paid by foreign airlines.’
Alaska’s Anchorage Airport told Reuters that it has started receiving inquiries on Thursday about its ability handle additional flights.
Airlines often used the Arctic airport for refueling during the Cold War when Russian airspace was banned as well.
Also on Friday, Aeroflot got the boot from British soccer team Manchester United, which headed out of a $53 million sponsorship with 18 months still to go.
‘In light of events in Ukraine, we have withdrawn Aeroflot’s sponsorship rights,’ a team spokesman said.
Boris Johnson declared that Putin has ‘chosen a path of bloodshed and destruction’ in Ukraine after launching a ‘horrific attacks’ on its neighbour
‘We share the concerns of our fans around the world and extend our sympathies to those affected.’
The soccer club planned to paint over the Aeroflot logo in Old Trafford, the stadium where the team plays.
The team’s last flight would have been on Tuesday for their Champions League playoff against Atletico Madrid, but it was cancelled because of the invasion.
The Russian airline industry isn’t only commerce being grounded by the war. On Friday, President Joe Biden announced sanctions directly against Vladimir Putin and Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, in addition to the banking ban already in place.
‘In alignment with the decision by our European allies, the United States will join them in sanctioning President Putin and Foreign Minister Lavrov and members of the Russian national security team,’ White House press secretary Jen Psaki said.
She said additional penalties, including a travel ban, would be levied.
The move will be largely symbolic as it remains unclear where Putin’s money is and how much there is of it.
Bloomberg notes Putin’s latest financial disclosure reveals that his annual income is about 10 million rubles ($120,050), and he owns three cars and an apartment.
But there are also reports Putin owns a superyatch worth $100 million. And that his estimated worth is $200 billion.
Earlier Friday, Biden spoke with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky for about 40 minutes.
Zelensky said the two men discussed stronger sanctions on Russia and more support from the United States.
‘Strengthening sanctions, concrete defense assistance and an anti-war coalition have just been discussed with @POTUS. Grateful to [United States] for the strong support to [Ukraine]!,’ he wrote on Twitter.
Zelensky had pushed for Putin to be directly sanctioned