The Flightradar24 tracking website yesterday showed very little activity in Belarusian airspace. Most airlines are avoiding it – in protest against the forced landing of a Ryanair plane in Minsk and following EU guidelines.
Meanwhile, Air France and Austrian Airlines were forced to abandon flights to the Russian Federation after Russia rejected their route plans, bypassing Belarus. Four Air France flights between the French and Russian capitals were canceled, some passengers were able to rebook tickets for the Russian Aeroflot flight, the BBC reported. Two Austrian Airlines flights were also stopped: a passenger Vienna-Moscow and a cargo one from Nanjing (China) to Vienna.
EU and UK introduced a ban on flights of Belarusian airlines over their territories and announced the impending introduction of new sanctions, including against Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko and some high-ranking officials.
According to Reuters, this ban forced Belavia to cancel 12 routes until October 30: Barcelona, Amsterdam, Berlin, Warsaw, Brussels, Hannover, Frankfurt, Kaliningrad, Munich, Milan, Vienna, Rome. The termination of flights over / to Belarus directly affects its revenues, as airlines pay millions of dollars annually to use the country’s airspace.
According to RBC, referring to a source in the airline, Rosaviatsia plans to discuss in the near future the issue of permitting flights of European carriers bypassing Belarus, on new routes. According to the source, it takes time to develop new flight routes from European countries to Russia.
Yesterday Belarus offered the Russian Federation to restore air traffic in full. Belarusian Prime Minister Roman Golovchenko appealed to his Russian counterpart, Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin, with a proposal to open new routes in Russia for Belavia.