June 20, 2021

Germany suspends arrival of Russian flights due to obstruction from Moscow

Germany suspended the arrival on its territory of Russian airline flights on Wednesday (June 2nd) in response to the lack of authorization issued by Moscow for Lufthansa flights to Russia, the transport ministry announced. in Berlin, against a backdrop of conflict over the situation in Belarus.

Russian aviation authority “Did not clear in time” two flights, scheduled for Wednesday morning, which had to be canceled Tuesday evening, the ministry explained in a press release. “Due to the practice of reciprocity”, Germany “Did not grant permissions” for flights of Russian companies, resulting in the cancellation of flights operated by Aeroflot and S7 Airlines.

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“As soon as the authorizations for Lufthansa flights are granted, the flights of Russian companies will also be authorized”, added the ministry. Lufthansa expects “Other passenger flights to Russia scheduled for June will be quickly authorized”. Neither the ministry nor the company detailed the reasons for this blockage.

Air France and Austrian Airlines flights already canceled

Last week, two flights from Air France and one from Austrian airline Austrian Airlines, a subsidiary of Lufthansa, were also canceled for lack of a green light from Russia for a rerouting intended to avoid Belarusian airspace. Major European airlines have bypassed the former Soviet republic since a Ryanair plane from Athens to Vilnius was intercepted and forced to land in Minsk, where an opponent of Alexander Lukashenko’s regime was disembarked and arrested.

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Air France flight cancellations were solely due to “Technical questions”, then assured the spokesperson for the Kremlin. Flights between Europe and Russia “Have permission to use defined air corridors. If a company wants to change these routes, there must be a prior agreement between the company concerned and Russia ”, detailed the European air traffic monitoring body Eurocontrol.

The World with AFP