Dobrolet halts flights as EU sanctions block jet lease

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Aeroflot’s budget carrier Dobrolet is suspending operations as a result of the sanctions recently imposed on the airline by the European Union.

Dobrolet had started services only in June, initially from Moscow to Simferopol in the disputed Crimea region of Ukraine.

The carrier, which uses Boeing 737-800s, has just opened a new route to Volgograd.

But it says it is being “forced to suspend flights temporarily” from 4 August, owing to the European sanctions which have resulted in its 737 lease contract being cancelled.

It says it will switch passengers on the Simferopol and Volgograd routes to Orenburg Airlines services instead.

Dobrolet had intended to start flights to several destinations this month, including Samara, Ufa, Perm and Ekaterinburg.

“We sincerely apologise for the inconvenience,” it says.

Flightglobal’s Ascend Fleets database lists Dobrolet’s aircraft as having been sourced from lessor Babcock & Brown.

Dobrolet was included in the latest round of European Union sanctions as a result of its Crimean operations.