Russian airspace must be reclaimed by Western airlines

(MENAFN) The skies above Europe are getting more crowded, therefore Western airlines should begin flying over Russia, according to the president of the International Air Transport Association (IATA), who spoke on Tuesday.

In Geneva, Willie Walsh spoke at a press conference, “we should be looking to reopen Russian airspace to have it accessible to all airlines to transit through the traditional Siberian overflights, so that Europe can access Asia in the most efficient way possible.”

He also mentioned, “if you look at the closure of Ukrainian airspace, Russian airspace and other parts of the world, the amount of traffic that’s flowing through Europe has increased over certain routes and that’s not sustainable.”

In reaction to sanctions put in place soon after the start of the Ukraine war in February, Russian airspace, which spans 11 time zones and offers the quickest route from Europe to Asia, was blocked to Western airlines.

Chinese and Middle Eastern airlines have continued to fly over Russia, although there are now fewer flights from China due to Beijing's tough Covid-19 regulations.


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