‘Aeroflot’ suspends flights to Sri Lanka over aircraft’s arrest

Russian airline Aeroflot Airbus A330 jet

Russian Airline Aeroflot has suspended commercial flights to Sri Lanka.

The decision was prompted by “the unfavourable situation as regards guarantees of unobstructed flights of the airline’s aircraft to Sri Lanka,” Aeroflot said in a statement.

The airline suspended the sale of tickets to Colombo as well.

The airline launched its services in Sri Lanka on 4th November, 2021.

Sri Lankan Ambassador to Moscow Janitha Abewickrema Liyanage was summoned to the Russian Foreign Ministry on Friday where she expressed resolute protest over the detention of an Aeroflot plane in her country, according to a statement made by the Russian diplomatic agency.

“The head of the diplomatic mission expressed protest over the groundless decision by Sri Lanka’s judicial authorities to detain a regular Aeroflot flight preparing to depart for Moscow at Bandaranaike International Airport on June 2,” the Russian Foreign Ministry said. “We urged the Sri Lankan side to settle this problem as soon as possible to avoid its negative impact on traditionally friendly bilateral relations,” the agency added.

On 03rd June, Aeroflot reported that the departure of its SU-289 flight from Colombo to Moscow scheduled for June 2 was at first delayed and then cancelled due to the absence of a permit from Sri Lanka’s aviation authorities.

On 02nd of June, Colombo Commercial High Court Judge Harsha Sethunga, after hearing a complaint filed by Celestial Aviation Trading Limited leasing company in Ireland, issued the enjoining order on the respondent Russian airline Aeroflot and banned its Airbus A330 jet from leaving Sri Lanka until June 16.

A court hearing to lift the seizure of the aircraft is scheduled for June 8, 2022.

The plaintiff states that it has a settlement case with the respondent Russian Airlines, and therefore, the complainant had filed a complaint seeking an injunction restraining an aircraft belonging to the respondent airline from leaving Sri Lanka.