Russian oligarch has second private jet grounded in UK

Cessna aircraft blocked from leaving last month by UK Transport Secretary Grant Shapps

The jet is languishing at Biggin Hill Airport in south-east London. PA
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A £35 million private jet owned by Russian billionaire Eugene Shvidler has been banned from flying in the UK as part of sanctions in response to the war in Ukraine.

Another plane owned by Mr Shvidler, a Bombardier Global 6500 jet, has been detained at Farnborough Airport in Hampshire since March 8.

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps announced that he has deregistered the aircraft, meaning any certificates in place that allow it to fly have been suspended.

The Cessna aircraft with the tail registration G-LATO is currently at Biggin Hill Airport, south-east London, where it was due to undergo maintenance and repairs.

Mr Shapps issued the order to block the plane from leaving on March 19 to enable an investigation into its ownership.

Mr Shvidler is a friend of Chelsea FC owner Roman Abramovich — himself a target of UK sanctions — and a former boss and shareholder in Mr Abramovich's steel firm, Evraz. His net worth has been estimated at £1.2 billion.

“Russian oligarchs who have benefited from [Russian President Vladimir] Putin's regime will not be allowed to just go about their business as they were before this completely unprovoked war started,” Mr Shapps told the PA news agency on a visit to Biggin Hill Airport to see the jet.

“That's why we're actually stripping this off the British aircraft register.

“This plane will not be going anywhere for the foreseeable future.”

Mr Shapps said finding out who controls private aircraft is often “extremely complex” but that the UK will not “hesitate to make sure that we sanction, detain, strip all of these vessels”, referring to ships and yachts as well as aircraft UK authorities have in their sights.

He also announced that all Russian aircraft are now classified as “unairworthy in UK eyes” because “they're now not being serviced properly” due to sanctions.

The planes were banned from UK airspace following Russia's invasion of Ukraine.

Updated: April 08, 2022, 4:00 PM