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.
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