They want to fly over Russia again.  The giant head is firm

– In our opinion, Russian airspace should be open to everyone. I don’t see any safety issues with flying over Russian airspace. Willie Walsh, director general of the International Air Transport Association (IATA), said on Tuesday that this was a political issue.

The fact is that the airspace over Russia is open for some, and for others it is not. “But I don’t think it’s right to say it should be closed to everyone, quite the opposite,” Willie Walsh added.

This is because the so-called Polar Routes, leading to Siberia, are the shortest routes connecting Western Europe and the Far East. According to data from the International Civil Aviation Organization, Russia earned $1.7 billion in 2019 from fees for flights over its territory. More than any other country in the world.

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Today, airlines from the Middle Kingdom, flying to and from Europe, use Russian space just as they did before the outbreak of war. At the same time, Western airlines were forced to redesign communication networks and routes to the Far East. Example? LOT Polish Airlines flies to South Korea, Beijing or Tokyo, the so-called southern route. Nearly a year ago, they made a historic flight to Tokyo over the North Pole.

PLL LOT has not yet spoken about returning to flights over Russia, despite being affected by the effects of the airspace closure. – Overflight rights over Russia for EU airlines should be negotiated jointly after the end of the war in Ukraine, and not individually under bilateral arrangements – says Krzysztof Mozołski, company spokesman, to money.pl.

Attack on Fenir. Travel time reduced by up to 40%. long

However, the closure of airspace over Russia was most damaging to Fenir. It is the Finnish national airline that has managed to build an advantage over its competitors in the flight sector to the Far East for years, departing from the northernmost European Union hub in Helsinki. Now she must, like LOT, fly by a longer southern route or across the Pole.

Cruise times to our destinations in Asia are 10-40 percent lower. long. This affects fuel costs, crew work and aircraft turnover. We travel to Japan either by the northern route over the North Pole or by the southern route, depending on the winds. Flight duration is approximately 13 hours. The flight time on routes to Shanghai and Seoul varies from 12 to 14 hours, depending on the direction – explained Suvi Aaltonen from the Finnair press service in March, answering questions from money.pl.

She emphasized that Finnair, which was previously focused on Asia, now has a more “geographically balanced” network, linking Europe to Asia, but also to India, the Middle East and North America.

We then asked the Finnish airline whether it was also counting on being able to fly over Russia again after the end of the war in Ukraine. – We have designed our route network on the assumption that the Russian airspace closure will continue for a long time – ucięła altonen.

“These are political decisions.”

Willie Walsh asserts that he “sees no safety reasons” for air operations over Russia. – These are political decisions. What worries me is that politicians will use the “security” argument as a reason to make economic and political decisions, Walsh said during the Global Air Transport Symposium in Dubai.

Because the decisions issued immediately after the outbreak of war to prevent Russian aircraft from entering the European Union were justified by security reasons and therefore included them in the so-called blacklist of carriers – I do not think that was reasonable, in response to which the Russians said no. But this is politics, and it has nothing to do with security issues. He added that it is a bad move and Russian airspace should be open to anyone who wants to use it.

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