EU states close airspace to Russian planes

DALLAS – The European Union has announced the closure of its airspace to all Russian airlines and government aircraft in the latest escalation of events following the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

Matthias Deis, Deputy Studio Director of German TV channel ARD Capital Studio, announced the decision on Twitter.

Before the announcement of the decision late in the day, Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Finland, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Romania, Slovenia and the United Kingdom had closed their airspace to Russian planes. It is uncertain whether the decision includes the 41 member states of Eurocontrol, Israel and Morocco.

Today, two KLM flights to St. Petersburg and Moscow returned to Amsterdam. The airline said in a press release that it had halted all flights to Russia for the next week, including passage “through Russian territory en route to other destinations.”

Lufthansa also recalled two flights to Seoul-Incheon and Tokyo Haneda earlier today. The German airline cited “current and emerging regulatory situations” derived from the ongoing dispute in a statement.

Lufthansa will not use Russian airspace for the next seven days due to the current and emerging regulatory situation. Flights to Russia will be suspended during this period. We continue to monitor the situation closely and are in close contact with the authorities.

It is expected that the Russian government will announce a ban on all European airlines flying into Russia and overflying its airspace.

The closure of European airspace will prove to be an obstacle for Russian airlines flying to Kaliningrad, a Russian enclave between Poland and Lithuania along the Baltic.

This is a developing story.

Feature image: Daniel Gorun/Airways

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