EU bans Russian flights, planes forced to turn back mid-air

By Linsey McNeill
Home » EU bans Russian flights, planes forced to turn back mid-air

All Russian flights have been banned by every country in the EU following President Putin’s invasion of Ukraine.

President of the EU Commission Ursula von der Leyen announced the move on Twitter on Sunday afternoon.

It follows a decision by the UK to ban Russian scheduled flights – later extended to all Russian flights, including private jets – on Friday. The Kremlin then retaliated by banning UK flights from landing in or flying over Russia.

In a tweet, Ms von der Leyen said EU airspace would be closed to Russian-owned, Russian registered or Russian-controlled aircraft. She added: “They won’t be able to land in, take off or overfly the territory of the EU.”

She said this included ‘the private jets of oligarchs’.

An Aeroflot flight from Moscow to New York was forced to turn around mid-air and return to Russia after it was banned from entering airspace over Greenland.

And according to Flightradar24, a flight tracking website, German aircraft in Russian airspace also turned back.

It was unclear how an Aeroflot plane on the ground in Geneva, Switzerland, would be able to return to Russia.

The flight ban leaves Russia largely cut off to the west, but the move will also hit the tourism industries of EU countries that are heavily dependent on Russian holidaymakers.

And the ban on UK airlines using Russian airspace will mean longer flight times for those heading east. Virgin Atlantic says flights to the UK and India will be up to an hour longer.

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