MOSCOW Aug 3 A low-cost airline run by Russian
national carrier Aeroflot said on Sunday it will suspend all
flights after its plane lease agreement was cancelled when the
European Union slapped sanctions on Moscow over its role in the
The EU announced punitive measures on the airline, Dobrolyot
(Good Flight), in late July when it expanded its list of
sanctions on Russia to 95 people and 23 organisations subject to
travel bans and asset freezes.
Dobrolyot began operations in June, carrying out its maiden
flight to Simferopol, the capital of Crimea, the Black Sea
peninsula that Moscow annexed from Ukraine in March. It
currently serves seven other cities in Russia.
"Following cancellation of a lease agreement for Boeing
737-800 planes because of sanctions introduced by the EU against
Dobrolyot, we are forced to temporarily halt flights on all
routes as of Aug. 4," the company said on its website.
It said another airline would fly passengers who had already
bought tickets to travel between Moscow and Simferopol as well
as between Moscow and Volgograd later this month.
"Flights on other routes are temporarily cancelled.
Passengers will get a full refund of the ticket price," it
The announcement comes despite a defiant tone Moscow struck
after the West ratcheted up sanctions over what it says is
Russia's role in fanning the separatist rebellion in eastern
Ukraine. Moscow denies the accusations.
(Writing by Gabriela Baczynska; Editing by Hugh Lawson)