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Home Global Economy Mutual overflight bans: This is how the war in Ukraine affects travel
Global Economy

Mutual overflight bans: This is how the war in Ukraine affects travel

Shortly after the invasion of Ukraine, the EU, the USA and Canada closed their airspace to Russian airlines, and Moscow retaliated a short time later and banned overflights over its sovereign territory. The mutual sanctions have led to flight cancellations and costly detours, the jets have to divert to the south, avoiding the areas of tension in the Middle East.

Airlines are braced for potentially lengthy closures of key east-west flight corridors, as the United States and Canada have taken similar measures in response to Russia's invasion of Ukraine.

In retaliation, Russia has grounded airlines from dozens of countries, including all 27 members of the European Union, after EU ministers agreed to bar Russian planes, including the private jets of the country's oligarchs, from entering the country.

Recently, European and US airlines have been forced to fly major detours.

"And of course the 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." so hololiei.

Russian commercial 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 in the West, which could be immediately confiscated outside of Russia.

Data from flight tracking service FlightRadar24 shows empty 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 skyrocketed after the invasion of Ukraine. On February 25, the day after the invasion began, each booking for travel to Russia was offset by six cancellations of existing bookings.

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

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

"Russia's tourism economy was just recovering from the pandemic and is about to take another major hit. This will also have a severe impact on destinations that rely heavily on Russian visitors," said Olivier Ponti, VP Insights at ForwardKeys .

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