December 5, 2022

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Russia may be escalating its war with the EU over Belarus’ state-sponsored hijacking

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On Wednesday Russia refused to allow an Air France Paris-Moscow to bypass Belarus airspace. 

Air France cancelled the flight as the EU now uges airlines to avoid flying in Belarusian airspace. 

Says the European Union Aviation Safety Agency in a EASA Safety Information Bulletin

  • advises airlines to avoid Belarus
  • referring to the hijacking over last weekend, says “the incident put into question the ability of Belarus to provide safe air navigation services”

Air France statement: 

  • “Air France confirms the cancellation of flight AF1154 of May 26, 2021 on the Paris-Charles de Gaulle-Moscow route, for operational reasons related to bypassing Belarusian airspace requiring a new authorization from the Russian authorities to enter on their territory “,

Air France plans to run its next scheduled Moscow flight on Friday, subject to Russian approval of a flight plan that would allow it to avoid overflying Belarus.

This is a curious event, as other Air France that have sought to bypass Belarus have been given permission to overfly Russia without incident. If the latest development is a policy change from Russia it escalates tensions with the EU.

 —

Background to this is a Belarus fighter jet intercepting a Ryanair flight, forcing it to land in Minsk where a passenger was detained by authorities. The EU has since suspended Belarusian national carrier Belavia’s operating rights.

ICYMI:

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On Wednesday Russia refused to allow an Air France Paris-Moscow to bypass Belarus airspace. 




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