Over the weekend, almost all EU Member States have individually announced their ban on Russian aircraft from their airspace. On Sunday evening, Commission President Ursula von der Leyen announced, among other measures, that the flight ban is now EU-wide.
President Von der Leyen announced a total EU-wide ban on all Russian aircraft, meaning that any plane owned, registered or controlled by Russia, including private jets, will now be prohibited from landing, taking off or even flying over any EU Member State.
We are proposing a prohibition on all Russian owned, Russian registered, and Russian controlled aircraft. Let me be very clear – our airspace will be closed to every Russian plane, and that includes the private jets of oligarchs too.Ursula von der Leyen, President of the European Commission
In response, Russia announced the cancellation of all flights to European destinations, as well as its own ban of European aircraft over Russian airspace.
Even before the EU-wide ban, Member States had individually banned Russian aircraft from their airspace. This caused an Aeroflot flight, which was headed to Brussels, to turn around in the middle of the route, to avoid entering prohibited airspace.
Furthermore, the UK also announced the ban of Russian planes from its airspace and, in response, Russia also banned British aircraft.
As a consequence of the restrictions, airlines will be forced to take alternative, longer routes to reach their destination. This will result in longer flight times and, subsequently, a need for more fuel, thus a higher cost per flight.
Airlines are also avoiding crossing over Eastern Europe in general, to prevent any possible safety concerns, the European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) saying that airspace within 100 nautical miles of Russia’s borders with Ukraine could pose safety risks.
Other sanctions announced on Sunday include a ban on the export of goods and technology in the aviation and space industry to Russia, as well as the exclusion of Russian banks from SWIFT and the freeze of the Russian’s central bank assets.