On Friday, British Airways and Virgin Atlantic began routing flights around Russian airspace after the U.K. and the Russian Federation banned each other’s airlines in tit-for-tat retaliation over Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
While the extent of the longer-term fallout from Russia’s invasion of Ukraine was unclear, airlines have been asking Anchorage Airport in Alaska about capacity.
Airlines, lessors, and manufacturers have to cope with numerous challenges after Western countries imposed sanctions on Russia.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiyy promised to stay in the country’s capital as his troops battled Russian invaders.
Airlines and Ukraine
Japan Airlines canceled its Thursday evening flight to Russia’s capital Moscow, citing potential safety risks.
The U.K. closed its airspace to Russian airlines, including Aeroflot, as part of a raft of punitive measures. In response, Russia banned British airlines from landing at its airports or crossing its airspace.
Virgin Atlantic said avoiding Russia would add 15 minutes to an hour to its flights between Britain and India and Pakistan.
Besides, Emirates made minor routing changes to Stockholm, Moscow, St. Petersburg and some U.S. flights that were hit by the airspace closings following the Russian Federation’s invasion.
The International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) will discuss the situation in Ukraine at a meeting on Friday.
Airlines will have to deal with another issue as well. Oil prices jumped to more than $105 a barrel for the first time in a long time. That raises operating costs at a time when travel demand remains low because of the Covid-19 pandemic.
President Joe Biden’s administration announced major export restrictions against Russia on Thursday, hammering its access to goods, including aircraft parts. The measures announced by the White House, nevertheless, include carveouts for technology necessary for flight safety, raising the prospects of a limited rather than sweeping hit to the aviation industry.
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