Russian budget airline Dobrolet has been forced to suspend its flights as a result of European Union sanctions imposed on it.
The Aeroflot subsidiary had only just started operating its first two routes — Moscow to Simferopol, Ukraine, launched in June and Moscow to Volgograd at the end of last month.
But its B737 lease contract has been cancelled as part of the EU’s latest sanctions against Russia that have come into place following last month’s Malaysia Airlines disaster in Ukraine (see news, July 17).
The EU has taken issue with Dobrolet’s Simferopol route.
It said that, as a subsidiary of a Russian state-owned airline, Dobrolet has “facilitated the integration of the illegally annexed Autonomous Republic of Crimea into the Russian Federation and undermines Ukrainian sovereignty and territorial integrity”.
As a result, Dobtolet has been “forced to suspend flights temporarily” from today.
The airline had been due to launch further routes this month to destinations including Samara, Perm and Ekaterinburg.