Travel booking giant Saber Corp. said it terminated its distribution agreement with Aeroflot, which hurt the Russian flag carrier’s ability to sell tickets. Amadeus Group IT, the European rival of Southlake, Texas, said it was also removing Aeroflot from its network.
The companies’ actions are part of the latest efforts by nations and companies around the world to distance themselves from Russia following the country’s invasion of Ukraine.
Russian airlines have been the main target of sanctions as European Union countries, the United States and Canada have closed their airspace to Russian planes. Earlier this week, aerospace companies Boeing and Airbus halted technical assistance and the supply of spare parts to Russian carriers.
Saber said it was “taking immediate action” to remove the airline from its Global Distribution System, or GDS, which is a vital market where travel agencies, travel websites and businesses make flight reservations. flights.
“We are taking a stand against this military conflict. We respect and will continue to respect the sanctions imposed on Russia,” said Saber CEO Sean Menke.
The company said it was monitoring the situation in Ukraine and “will assess whether further action would be appropriate, taking into account legal considerations and any countermeasures that may be implemented in response.”
In a statement, Amadeus said: “In light of the attacks on Ukraine, we have immediately halted any new commercial projects planned in Russia. We will not sign any new contracts in Russia and we continue to evaluate our existing work portfolio in Russia in parallel.
The Madrid-based company also confirmed that it had started “suspending the distribution of Aeroflot fares in our systems”.
Under EU sanctions, European aircraft leasing companies will have to repossess planes they leased from Russian airlines. However, a person familiar with the situation at Aeroflot said the airline would not return the plane, a tactic that could seriously disrupt the airline industry.
In a report released earlier this week titled “The Russian Invasion of Ukraine: An Unwelcome Blow to Aircraft Leasing and Aviation,” ratings agency KBRA in New York said the recovery of Possession of the aircraft, which is believed to be over 500, would be difficult under current widespread airspace restrictions and given certain legal requirements.
Aeroflot did not immediately respond to a request for comment.