After the Lukashenko regime hijacked a Ryanair flight from Athens to Vilnius to arrest opponents, several companies, including Air France and Lufthansa, have decided not to fly over Belarusian territory.
Air France, Lufthansa, KLM, Singapore Airlines, SAS, Baltic Airlines…Another airline, especially European airlines, decided to suspend the Belarusian flyby on Tuesday, May 25. After the Belarusian authorities hijacked Belarus on Sunday, the European Union took retaliatory measures on May 24 and decided to operate the Boeing company Minsk of low-cost airline Aer Lingus Ryanair, which operates Athens and Vilnius. Route between.This operation is qualified in France “State Piracy”, Allow the Belarusian authorities to arrest an opposition journalist Roman Protassevich and his companions who were on the stolen plane.
The European Union’s decision is of no avail to the airline’s affairs. The Covid-19 crisis has severely slowed down activities for more than a year and has weakened airline affairs. They have begun to review their route arrangements, especially routes to Russia and Asia. “Air France has taken note of the European Council’s conclusions and will therefore suspend its overflights until further notice. [biélorusse] Through its equipment. Aircraft already on the way will revise their flight plan”Announced the company headed by Benjamin Smith.
“Direct flights to Moscow will be more complicated”, To ensure that Air France pilots. “We will have to take a detour” Across Ukraine, to the south, or across the Baltic countries, to the north, “This will extend the flight time from five minutes to ten minutes”, Designated Air France flight attendant. «Twists and turns»According to him, Will cause additional fuel consumption. Air France cannot quantify the additional costs.
However, the impact on the company should not be too great. “Only a dozen routes fly over Belarus”, she says. Before hijacking the Ryanair flight, an average of 2500 commercial aircraft flew over the skies of Belarus every week.This bypass “Route option will be deleted” When a problem occurs, report it to a pilot, so Minsk can play a role “Emergency Airport”.
Belarus is not the only area in European airspace that should be avoided. Since 2014, the Russian Federation has annexed Crimea, and passenger planes have avoided flying over the peninsula. In the same year, the two companies also hijacked planes from Ukraine for a period of time, after the separatists in Donbass shot down Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 with missiles on July 17.