Private jet linked to Russian oil tycoon impounded at Farnborough Airport

Private jets lined up at Farnborough Airport.

A private jet suspected of being linked to a Russian oligarch was impounded at Farnborough Airport in Hampshire hours before it was due to fly to Dubai.

The aircraft was detained on the orders of Transport Secretary Grant Shapps on Tuesday, (8 March) to enable an investigation into its connection with billionaire oil tycoon Eugene Shvidler, a friend of Roman Abramovich.

A Government source said Mr Shvidler was "free to continue his journey by other means" after the plane was impounded.

The Bombardier Global 6500 jet arrived in Farnborough from the US state of New Jersey on Friday and had been due to fly to Dubai on Tuesday afternoon.

Mr Shapps revoked its foreign carrier permit, meaning it could not legally carry passengers.

He then issued a restriction of flying order which grounded the plane.

The private jet, similar to those pictured, was scheduled to leave Farnborough Airport for Dubai. Credit: ITV News Meridian

The jet is registered in Luxembourg to a firm named Global Jet Luxembourg, but ownership of private planes is often complicated by the involvement of third parties.

It will only be allowed to leave Farnborough if no link with Russia is established, the source added.

That is unlikely to happen today.

The inquiry into its ownership and operation was launched on the advice of Attorney General Suella Braverman, and is being assisted by the National Crime Agency.

A Department for Transport spokeswoman said: "The UK Government has issued a Notice to Airmen (Notam) to prevent a flight which is in dispute from taking off from Farnborough Airport.

"It will remain at the airport whilst we investigate further whether it falls under the recent legislation banning all Russian-linked aircraft.

"We are working with the CAA (Civil Aviation Authority) to clarify and it would not be appropriate to comment further."

The National Crime Agency said in a statement: "We can confirm we are assisting Government partners in connection with the detention of an aircraft by UK authorities."

Mr Shapps told airports on Tuesday that he can order them to detain Russian aircraft and has the power to order the Civil Aviation Authority to terminate registration of planes owned by sanctioned individuals.

A private jet belonging to Chelsea FC owner Mr Abramovich is believed to have left Stansted Airport in Essex for Basel in Switzerland last week before all planes connected with Russia were banned from UK air space.

The Boeing 767 jet has been nicknamed The Bandit due to its black stripes nearthe cockpit window.