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Moscow’s Sheremetyevo International Airport has furloughed nearly a fifth of its staff due to a reduction in passenger traffic following Western countries imposing sanctions on Russia in response to the invasion of Ukraine, according to a Reuter’s report.

The news agency reported that some employees were furloughed from 16 March and would receive only two-thirds of their wages.

The airport has also stopped new recruitment and abolished all open positions, as the closure of air space by several countries has led to a drastic decline in passenger traffic.

In related news, the UK has passed a new law that will make the entry of Russian carriers into its airspace a criminal offence.

In retaliation, Russia imposed a ban on airlines from 36 countries, including 27 EU nations.

Last week, Sheremetyevo Airport also announced that it would temporarily close its passenger Terminal D in the wake of restrictions to international air transportation.

The airport has decided to optimise and concentrate production activities in Terminals B and C.

In a statement, Sheremetyevo Airport said: “The transfer of airline flights from Terminal D will be carried out according to the schedule to Terminal B and Terminal C, respectively. Airlines and commercial partners are informed in advance of upcoming changes.

“International flights of Belavia, Aircompany Armenia, Vietnam Airlines, Corendon Airlines, Korean Air, MIAT Mongolian Airlines, Aeroflot (flights to the EAEU), Cham Wings Airlines, Air India, Air Serbia for arrival and departure from Terminal D will be transferred to Terminal C.

“Domestic flights of Aeroflot, Rossiya Airlines, Pobeda, Yamal, Ikar, Nordwind Airlines, Severstal airlines will be served at Terminal B.”