Delta cuts Aeroflot ties as fallout from Russia's invasion of Ukraine spreads in air travel

Key Points
  • Delta said the decision is effective immediately.
  • Delta's agreement with Russia's biggest carrier allowed the airlines' customers to book seats on one another's flights.
  • The move comes after the U.K. banned Aeroflot from flying into the country.

In this article

An Aeroflot Russian Airlines Airbus A320 aircraft as seen on final approach flying and landing on the runway at Amsterdam Schiphol Airport with the terminal and the control tower visible, after arriving from Moscow.
Nicolas Economou | Nurphoto | Getty Images

Delta Air Lines said Friday that it is suspending ties with Russian carrier Aeroflot as the fallout from Russia's invasion of Ukraine continues to spread.

Their partnership allows customers to book seats on each other's flights.

"Delta has withdrawn our codeshare services operated in conjunction with Russian national airline, Aeroflot, effective immediately," Atlanta-based Delta said in a statement. "We have removed our code from Aeroflot-operated services beyond Moscow's Sheremetyevo Airport and removed Aeroflot's code from Delta-operated services from Los Angeles and New York-JFK. Accommodations will be made for customers affected by these changes."

The U.K. on Thursday barred state-owned Aeroflot from flying into the country and Russia retaliated by closing its airspace to British carriers. The U.S. Transportation Department didn't comment on whether it would follow suit. Aeroflot was still scheduled to fly to New York from Moscow on Saturday and has 56 flights scheduled between the U.S. and Russia in March, according to aviation data and consulting firm Cirium.

British airlines and other carriers have been forced to cancel flights or change routings around Russia because of the conflict. Ukraine closed its airspace ahead of Russia's invasion and European aviation officials warned airlines not to overfly the country or parts of western Russia.

KLM Royal Dutch Airlines, a Delta partner, told CNBC on Friday that it has canceled some of its Russia service.

DCLA's Sarat Sethi likes Delta Airlines' stock
DCLA's Sarat Sethi likes Delta Airlines' stock

"We have decided at this time, given the uncertain situation, not to allow our crew to stay overnight in Russia," it said in a statement. "Therefore, it is not possible to carry out the night flight to Moscow so we have cancelled it."

Airlines previously canceled Ukraine service.

Delta does not fly to Russia or Ukraine.

Delta and Aeroflot are members of the SkyTeam airline alliance. "SkyTeam is monitoring ongoing events in Ukraine closely and is in contact with our members to assess the situation as it evolves," the group said in a statement.

The U.S. Department of Transportation and Aeroflot did not respond to requests for comment.

So-called codeshare agreements allow airlines to sell seats on flights to destinations that their own airline doesn't serve. Carriers use these agreements often to provide more international reach to customers.