Travelling by air in Europe has become more complicated as the row over Belarusian airspace escalates.
At a time when restrictions already apply for air travel due to the Covid-19 pandemic, tension between Belarus, Russia and countries across Europe have led to further complications.
On Friday, Ukraine became the latest country to implement a ban against Belarusian aircraft. From May 29, Belarus-registered planes are no longer able to fly through Ukrainian airspace, according to the country’s infrastructure ministry.
This comes after Ukraine banned flights to and from Belarus on Wednesday, following the forced landing of a Ryanair flight from Greece to Lithuania, and the subsequent arrest of a dissident Belarusian journalist on board.
“The government has tightened ‘air sanctions’ against Belarusian airlines,” the ministry said in a statement.
From Dubai, low-cost airline Flydubai operates direct to the Belarusian capital of Minsk. The airline also operates as Emirates’ partner airline on the route. Services have not been impacted by the escalating row over airspace.
“Flydubai flies three times a week to Minsk and the service is operating to schedule. We continue to monitor the situation,” a spokesperson told The National on Friday.
The news comes as Russia says that its failure to allow several European aircraft to land in Moscow was not due to a suspension, but for technical reasons.
“Aviation authorities will give the necessary explanations, but these are technical reasons,” said Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov, reports AFP. He added that the measures were taken to ensure aviation safety.
The most recent cancellation took place on Friday morning, when an Air France flight from Paris was cancelled by Russian authorities.
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