Russia Ukraine conflict

Kazakh, Turkish carriers suspend flights to Russia over Ukraine crisis

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Kazakhstan’s national airline Air Astana and Turkish budget airline Pegasus Airlines said Friday they were temporary suspending flights to Russia, following sanctions imposed on Moscow over its military incursion in Ukraine.

The companies made the decision because of uncertainties over insurance of aircraft bound for Russia, they said in separate press releases.

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Air Astana, which operates flights to several destinations in Russia said it was seeking to “restore flights as soon as possible.”

The carrier’s decision means there are no direct connections between Moscow and Kazakhstan’s largest city, Almaty, representatives of two travel agencies in Almaty told AFP.

Russians and foreigners seeking to leave and return to Russia have been using the Almaty connection and connections to cities in other ex-Soviet countries not participating in sanctions against Moscow as points of transit.

As a result of Western sanctions, the insurances of air carriers operating flights to Russia are no longer valid.

To continue operating requires state financial guarantees, like Israel has done for its airlines operating flights to Russia.

Britain, Canada, the European Union and the United States have suspended flights to Russia and closed their airspace to Russian aircraft as part of sanctions.

Russia retaliated, blocking airlines from those countries from flying over its territory.

Air links are still open from some countries to and from Russia, including Turkey, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates.

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