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There is more bad news for Russian airlines in the face of the country’s invasion of Ukraine.
S7 Airlines, one of Russia’s largest carriers, announced that its membership in the Oneworld alliance is suspended. Here’s what this announcement means.
S7 Airlines Suspended From Oneworld Until Further Notice
Oneworld — one of the 3 major international airline alliances — and Russia’s S7 Airlines have suspended their ties. S7 confirmed the news in a statement posted on its website, citing “restrictions on international flights.” This move appears to be in response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
“In these circumstances, S7 Airlines and [Oneworld] have decided to suspend their agreement, starting from 19 Apr 2022,” S7 said on its website.
This means S7 travelers will not be able to earn and redeem points on Oneworld airlines such as British Airways, American Airlines, or Alaska Airlines, nor will they have other Oneworld perks such as lounge access and priority check-in.
The airline said passengers could still enjoy “bilateral agreements between S7 Airlines and its partner airlines” but that Oneworld benefits would not be available.
S7 joined Oneworld in 2010. It is Russia’s largest private airline and flies (in regular times) to 181 cities in 26 countries worldwide.
The airline has more than 100 aircraft in its fleet, mainly consisting of Airbus planes, including the Airbus A320 and A320neo. The airline is headquartered outside of Novosibirsk in southern Russia.
S7, Aeroflot, and Others Banned From European Airspace
This isn’t the only bad news for S7, either. The European Commission — the governing body of the European Union — earlier this week announced a ban on S7 and 20 other airlines from flying in European skies. Major airlines, including Aeroflot and UTAir, are also impacted.
“The Russian Federal Air Transport Agency has allowed Russian airlines to operate hundreds of foreign-owned aircraft without a valid Certificate of Airworthiness,” Commissioner for Transport Adina Vălean said in a statement earlier this month. The Russian airlines concerned have knowingly done so in breach of relevant international safety standards.
Russia has been subject to numerous sanctions, and the travel industry has also responded to the war.
Airbnb and the online travel agency Booking.com have suspended operations in Russia. Hyatt last month cut ties with a Moscow hotel and said it has “halted development activities and any new investments in Russia.”
This move likely won’t impact most Oneworld travelers unless you fly S7 frequently. But it does point to a larger trend of businesses and alliances suspending relationships with Russian companies. It won’t be surprising if more Russian travel companies are impacted as the war drags on.
Featured Image Credit: S7 Airlines
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