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Israel is planning to extend financial guarantees for its airlines to operate in Russia even as many airlines in the West suspend their operations in the country.
An anonymous source from the Israeli Finance Ministry told Agence France-Presse (AFP) that the office is seeking to extend the guarantees as Israeli carriers are unable to get regular insurance due to imposed sanctions.
The $2bn guarantee is due to expire on 9 March.
Israel has not imposed any sanctions on Russia to date as part of Prime Minister Naftali Bennett’s efforts to ‘balance relations’ between Russia and Ukraine.
The US, Canada and the European Union (EU) have all barred Russian flights from using their airspace.
In a statement, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said: “First, we are shutting down the EU airspace for Russians.
“We are proposing a prohibition on all Russian-owned, Russian-registered or Russian-controlled aircraft.”
Canadian Transport Minister Omar Alghabra made a similar announcement, with the aim of holding Russia accountable for its attack on Ukraine.
In response to these sanctions, Russia has stopped airlines from travelling to 36 countries, including 27 EU nations.
Russian Federal Air Transport Agency Rosaviatsiya also announced the names of some of the banned nations.
Despite this, air links to and from Russia are currently still open from certain countries, including Qatar, Turkey and the United Arab Emirates (UAE).
Rosaviatsia said that flights will be allowed to use the Russian airspace only under special circumstances and must obtain approval from the Russian aviation authority or foreign ministry.
The move came after the company said it would suspend all its major operations in Russia.