Russian Billionaires Are Reportedly Still Flying Their Jets Over Europe

( Despite flight bans on both Russian airlines and privately-owned aircraft, private jets and helicopters owned by wealthy Russian oligarchs are still flying through the European Union’s airspace, according to a German newspaper.

The German paper Welt am Sonntag recently reported that flight logs reveal at least thirty flights from aircraft belonging to Russian businessmen that have traveled through EU airspace despite the European Union closing its airspace to Russian airlines and private jets in late February.

EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen announced on February 27 that these aircraft would not be permitted to take off, land, or overfly the European Union.

But the Welt am Sonntag report shows how difficult it is to enforce such a ban on private flights.

Before his private plane was seized by British authorities in mid-March, Russian billionaire oil tycoon Eugene Shvidler had flown through EU airspace on eight separate occasions, including several trips through German airspace. On its final flight on March 18, Shvidler’s plane traveled to London from Hamburg where no one stopped the plane’s departure.

Another Russian oligarch, billionaire Alisher Usmanov took off from Munich Airport just one day after van der Leyen announced the EU’s ban on Russian flights.

Meanwhile, on March 2, an aircraft registered in San Marino and operated by a Swiss company flew from Nice to Istanbul. According to Welt am Sonntag, that plane belongs to Russian businessman Albert Avdolyan.

In April, the private plane belonging to Russia’s richest man, Viktor Vekselberg, flew through EU airspace before landing in the Kazakh capital of Nur-Sultan.

A helicopter belonging to Russian businessman Alexander Zanadvorov has made at least eight trips over France since the EU flight ban was imposed.