Total Flight Ban on Russian Airlines in EU Airspace
Total Flight Ban on Russian Airlines in EU Airspace

Total Flight Ban on Russian Airlines in EU Airspace + Growing Diversions

The EU has announced the closure of entire EU airspace to all Russian-owned, Russian-registered or Russian-controlled aircraft. The list of countries banning Russian Airlines from their airspace is increasing one by one, whereas multiple airlines are avoiding the Russian airspace on their routes.

This article covers a developing story. It will be updated as more information follow up.

Countries closing airspace to Russian flights

As the European Union announced the decision to ban Russian airlines and aircraft from its airspace, other countries are also set to impose flight bans. The sanction was discussed by EU foreign ministers today. Canada has already closed their airspace to Russian Airlines. Here is the list of countries imposing bans on Russian flights.

United Kingdom

The United Kingdom became one of the first countries to ban Russian airlines from entering its airspace. The UK Civil Aviation Authority also said that it had suspended Aeroflot's foreign carrier permit. Russian private planes are also banned from flying in British airspace or landing at its airports.

“Following the announcement by the Prime Minister in Parliament today, the UK Civil Aviation Authority has suspended the foreign carrier permit held by Aeroflot Russia Airlines (Aeroflot) until further notice. This means that Aeroflot will not be permitted to operate flights to or from the United Kingdom until further notice."

the UK Civil Aviation Authority

European Countries

  • Poland became the first EU country to ban Russian flights from its airspace. The Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki announced this decision on Friday.
  • The Czech Republic, Slovenia, Poland, Bulgaria, Romania, Slovenia, Malta along with the Baltic nations of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania have already decided to close their airspace to Russian airlines and aircraft.
  • Ireland has become one of the latest countries to shut off its airspace to Russian airlines.

"Ireland will move to shut off Irish Airspace to all Russian Aircraft. We encourage other EU partners to do the same. We also support new wide-ranging sanctions to be agreed today at EU FAC & new assistance package for Ukraine."

Simon Coveney, Iris Minister for Foreign Affairs and Defence
  • Italy, Spain, France, Germany, Denmark, Belgium the Netherlands and Austria will also ban all Russian-registered aircraft from its airspace.
  • The Nordic countries of Finland, and Sweden have also unfolded their plans to ban Russian flights from their airspace.
  • Portugal and Croatia became the latest countries to close its airspace to Russian airlines.
  • Plenty of flights to Russia and Asian destinations have turned around, including KLM flights from Amsterdam to Moscow & St Petersburg and Lufthansa flights bound for Seoul and Tokyo.
  • Switzerland has also announced that they will close their airspace to Russian flights.

Besides the countries mentioned above, Canada has become the first North American country to impose a similar ban on Russian airlines.

Delta Cancelled Codeshare with Aeroflot

Delta Air Lines has withdrawn its codeshare services operated in conjunction with Russian flag-carrier, Aeroflot.

"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."

Delta Airlines spokesperson

Re-routing Long-Haul Flights over Russia Airspace

The closure of airspace over many of the countries has resulted in longer flight times, with multiple airlines forced to cancel hundreds of flights.

"If Russia in parallel closes its airspace from Finnish aircraft, it would have a significant impact on Finnair as our Asian traffic would in practice come to a standstill. Going around Russian airspace prolongs flight times so much that it would not be financially possible to operate our Asian flights."

Finnair spokeswoman told Reuters in an emailed statement

Russia has also imposed a similar ban against some of the countries that introduced the ban. Russia has banned airlines from 36 countries from entering its airspace.

Commercial airlines are also avoiding airspace around Ukraine, Moldova and Belarus.

Virgin Atlantic said that the flight time to India and Pakistan would be prolonged between 15 minutes and an hour, avoiding Russian airspace. Australian flag carrier Qantas has also announced that it will avoid Russian airspace on its "kangaroo routes" to London, with the flight time increased by over an hour.

"Given the current circumstances and complexities, we're opting to use one of our alternative flight paths that doesn't overfly Russia, while we continue to monitor this evolving situation."

said Qantas spokesperson

Feature Image: Twitter via @aviationbrk