Over the weekend, countries in Europe and Canada had closed their airspace to Russian aircraft, a big one being the Russian airline Aeroflot (a member of the Skyteam Alliance). Now, Russia has retaliated by closing their airspace to the planes from 36 countries.
Russian Airspace Closed to Airlines from 36 Countries
When smaller nations like Moldova close their airspace to certain countries, it is a strong gesture but does not touch the routing much for trips. But, when larger blocs of the sky are closed to airlines, it means adding hours on to a trip. For some, like Finnair, it means “negative financial impacts on Finnair” since their routes to Asia are now severely disrupted to the point of being “uneconomical” for the airline.
And this is where we find the aviation world at this point. The European Union and Canada have closed their airspace to Russian aircraft and have levied sanctions at Moscow that prohibit “all goods and technology” that is in anyway tied to aircraft. In addition, according to Yahoo!, this also means that aircraft cannot be insured and leasing companies will have to end the contracts with Russian airlines over the next 30 days.
Now, Russia has moved to close their airspace to those same nations. This is a huge blow to carriers like Lufthansa, Air France, British Airways, and others that serve cities in Asia. For sure, those routes are not yet what they were pre-covid but there are still a lot of aircraft that fly this and over Russia is the easiest way to make the journey.
Any planes from these countries that want to enter the airspace will need special permission from the Russian aviation agency. But, will companies want to fly over at this time? As for other services like delivery, UPS and FedEx have suspended deliveries and pickups to Russia (and Ukraine, for now).
If you are flying from Europe to Asia in the coming week or so, definitely keep an eye on your airline’s schedule.
Updated: Here is the list of countries that Russia has banned from their airspace:
- Anguilla (British Overseas Territory)
- British Virgin Islands
- United Kingdom
- Denmark (including Greenland, the Faroe Islands and the territorial sea)
- Czech Republic