U.S. to Close Its Airspace to Russian Aircraft

By Kurt Stolz on 2 March 2022
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The United States announced plans on Tuesday to close its airspace to Russian flights.

The move was announced during President Joseph Biden’s State of the Union address and follows similar actions by Canada and the European Union in response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

“Tonight, I am announcing that we will join our allies in closing off American airspace to all Russian flights, further isolating Russia and adding an additional squeeze on their economy,” the president said in his speech.

Federal transportation officials said that the ban would go into effect by the end of Wednesday.

The multiple closures have severely limited the ability of Russia’s flagship carrier, Aeroflot-Russian Airlines, to operate, although they do not impact Russia’s largest domestic airline, S7 Airlines, a member of the oneworld Alliance.

In turn, Russia has closed its airspace to European airlines, blocking multiple routes to Asia.

In addition to the airspace closure, Boeing, on Tuesday, said it would suspend parts, technical support, and maintenance for all Russian airlines.  The aircraft manufacturer also said it had “suspended major operations in Moscow.”

The move to block Russian aircraft started with Britain, which closed its airspace within hours of the invasion of Ukraine.  The move was followed by the European Union, supported by the member states’ foreign ministers, on Monday.  Canada also initiated a ban on Russian flights.

Aeroflot had already been forced to cancel flights to the United States, Mexico, and the Caribbean after Canada closed its skies to the carrier so the U.S. move will change little at this point but still holds great symbolism in presenting a unified front to Russia amidst the Ukraine invasion.

(Photo: Accura Media Group)

Accura News

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