Mutual Overflight Ban: This Is How the War in Ukraine Affects Travel


Soon after the invasion of Ukraine, the European Union, the United States and Canada closed their airspace to Russian airlines, and Moscow shortly afterwards retaliated with a ban on overflights over its sovereign territory. Mutual sanctions resulted in canceled flights and costly detours, with the jet turning south to avoid areas of tension in the Middle East.

Airlines are braced for a possible extended closure of key east-west flight corridors as the United States and Canada took similar measures in response to the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

In retaliation, Russia has blocked airlines from dozens of countries, including all 27 European Union members, with EU ministers agreeing to ban the entry of Russian planes, including private jets owned by the country’s oligarchs.

European and American airlines have recently been forced to make major detours.

“And of course other airlines are also suffering because their flights from Europe to Asia now take 1 to 2 hours longer than before, use more fuel, cost more and so on.” It’s Holi

Russian scheduled flights are also affected. Russia’s Aeroflot said it has suspended all flights to Europe until further notice and has also canceled flights to some Central American destinations due to the closure of Canadian airspace. In addition, Aeroflot’s fleet consists mainly of aircraft leased to the West, which can be immediately confiscated outside of Russia.

Data from flight tracking service FlightRadar24 shows clear skies over Ukraine and parts of Russia.

The Russian tourism economy has practically collapsed

Data from travel consultancy ForwardKeys shows that the number of flight cancellations to and from Russia has skyrocketed following the invasion of Ukraine. On February 25, the day after the invasion began, each booking for the trip to Russia was matched with six cancellations of existing bookings.

The highest cancellation rates – measured by magnitude – were recorded in Germany, France, Italy, the UK, India and Turkey.

The invasion also led to a decline in the market for outbound travel to Russia. Cyprus, Egypt, Turkey, the United Kingdom, Armenia and the Maldives were the destinations with the highest cancellation rates from February 24-26.

“Russia’s tourism economy has just recovered from the pandemic and is now facing another major blow. It will also have a serious impact on destinations that rely heavily on Russian visitors.”Olivier Ponti, Vice President Insights at ForwardKeys.



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