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Tuesday, May 17, 2022

Europe nations clip Russia’s wings with new airspace curbs

Now, jurisdictions opposing Russia’s invasion of Ukraine have started blockading their airspace to aircraft registered or operated by Russians.

Written by Pranav Mukul | New Delhi |
Updated: March 1, 2022 5:31:03 am
Other than Ukraine, which has its airspace closed for Russia since 2015, 29 countries have issued NOTAMs (Notice to Air Missions) disallowing use of their airspace to Russian planes.

Over the past few years, the use of airspace has emerged as a crucial tool by countries to affirm their stances in geopolitical conflicts. In 2019, Pakistan closed its airspace to India after the Balakot air strikes. Last year, European nations curbed flights from Belarus after it forced a plane to land so as to arrest a dissenting journalist.

Now, jurisdictions opposing Russia’s invasion of Ukraine have started blockading their airspace to aircraft registered or operated by Russians.

Other than Ukraine, which has its airspace closed for Russia since 2015, 29 countries have issued NOTAMs (Notice to Air Missions) disallowing use of their airspace to Russian planes. Notably, in several of these cases, Russia has reciprocated with prohibitions too.

As per information from Flightradar24, the UK, Czech Republic, Bulgaria, Poland, Romania, Estonia, Slovenia, Lithuania, Estonia, Latvia, Germany, Italy, Iceland, Austria, the Netherlands, Malta, Denmark, Canada, Luxembourg, Croatia, Albania, France, Cyprus, Hungary, Ireland, Spain, Greece, Portugal, Belgium and Sweden have closed their airspace for Russia. This means flights being operated by Russian airlines or Russia-registered private jets will have to undertake considerably lengthy detours to fly out of the country.

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For example, Aeroflot’s Belgrade-Moscow flight, which took 2 hours 35 minutes on Friday, saw its flight time reach 5 hours 45 minutes on Sunday.

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