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British Authorities Can Now Impound the Private Jets of Russian Oligarchs

British Authorities Can Now Impound the Private Jets of Russian Oligarchs

The British government has closed a loophole that allowed Russian oligarchs to bypass existing aviation sanctions by chartering a private jet registered outside of Russia. British authorities can now impound any aircraft chartered by anyone connected to Russia and the first private jet has already been seized at Farnborough airport.

The United Kingdom was the first country in the world to ban Russian aircraft from its airspace but, until now, the ultra-wealthy Russian elite could simply charter a private jet and fly to and from Russia with impunity.

The legislation came into force at 5 pm on Tuesday afternoon and within hours a private jet registered in Luxembourg was impounded after it was alleged that a Russian oligarch had chartered the plane to get around British sanctions on Russia.

The Department for Transport (DfT) has also strengthened the existing airspace ban by making it illegal for Russian registered planes to fly through British airspace or attempt to land on British soil.

“Putin must fail and so we were one of the first countries to ban Russian aircraft and today we are going even further by making it a criminal offence for Russian aircraft to operate in UK airspace,” commented transport minister Grant Shapps on Wednesday.

“We will always work to deny Putin and his cronies the right to continue as normal while innocent Ukrainians suffer,” Shapps continued.

The new legislation also includes a raft of other aviation sanctions including the ability to wipe aircraft from the UK’s aircraft register if they are suspected to belong to designated Russian individuals or businesses.

Mimicking similar European sanctions, the British will also prohibit the export of aircraft spare parts and aviation insurance policies issued by British companies like Lloyds of London have now been withdrawn with immediate effect.

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