Kazakh airline Air Astana announced its suspension of flights to Russia after insurance coverage of commercial flights from and to the Russian Federation and over its territory was revoked as part of sanctions imposed on the country in the wake of its invasion of Ukraine. 

“Air Astana sincerely regrets to advise that due the withdrawal of insurance coverage for commercial flights to, from and over the Russian Federation, all flights to the Russian Federation are suspended with immediate effect until 13 March. Air Astana is working with [the] Government on a solution to this problem in order to be able to restore flights as soon as possible,” the airline announced in a press release published on its website. 

The airline also stated that passengers who have already purchased tickets will be refunded in full. 

The suspension comes a few days after the UK government’s announcement that it would be implementing sanctions blocking any Russian entity from accessing the services of UK-based insurance and reinsurance companies. This decision followed Britain's sanctions implemented on February 27, 2022, preventing Russian-owned or controlled aircraft, including private and commercial jets, from flying into or crossing UK airspace.  

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The UK government will prohibit UK-based insurance and reinsurance companies from providing services to Russian aviation and space entities.