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Airspace closures cause airlines to detour, adding to cargo woes

Finnair A350's business class cabin
General image of Finnair A350’s business class cabin taken in Helsinki, Finland December 3, 2021. Finnair / Handout via REUTERS

February 28, 2022

By Anne Kauranen

HELSINKI (Reuters) – Airlines on Monday had to brace for a potentially protracted sanctions war after the EU banned Russian airlines and Moscow pledged to retaliate.

Dozens of flights have been canceled or taken costly detours as the crisis hit airline stocks.

The rerouting meant that Kazakhstan’s airspace saw the number of flights triple, to more than 450.

Aviation industry executives said they were expecting Russia to ban the use of routes through the country after the European Union on Sunday banned Russian airlines as fighting broke out in Ukraine.

On Monday, the Kremlin said it would respond to Western sanctions on Russia’s aviation industry.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters during a meeting at the conference: “The guiding principle will be reciprocity and our interests will come first.

Without access to Russian airspace, airlines will have to divert flights south while avoiding tense areas in the Middle East.

Shares of European airlines and airport operators fell 3-6% in early trading, while the Finnish national carrier Finnair cut guidance and saw shares of they fell 23%.

Germany’s Lufthansa said 30 flights to Russia would be canceled this week by Lufthansa and its subsidiaries Eurowings and Austrian Airlines, while Latvia’s AirBaltic said it was extending its suspension of flights to Russia until end of May.

Lufthansa said its flights from Europe to Tokyo and Seoul will be detoured for which the company has secured the necessary flight rights.

In Asia, Singapore Airlines on Monday said it had suspended all services between Singapore and Moscow until further notice for “operational reasons”.

Finnair has scrapped its 2022 guidance, fearing a significant loss of business as it uses a cross-Russian route from Europe to Asia via its hub in Helsinki.

Korean Air, Japan Airlines and Japan’s ANA Holdings on Monday said they continue to use Russian airspace but have no plans to add flights to Russia or Europe to replace flights canceled by other airlines. European airlines.

Demand to Japan and South Korea is low due to COVID-related travel restrictions.

Swiss airline, also owned by Lufthansa Group, said it would continue to fly to Russia because Switzerland did not ban Russian airlines.

DISCOVER OTHER SUPPLY CHAIN

Airspace shutdowns and flight cancellations will also affect cargo traffic, exacerbating global supply chain woes as the pandemic slows freight movement around the world.

“Due to the dramatic developments taking place in the Russia-Ukraine conflict, Lufthansa will no longer use Russian airspace,” Lufthansa Cargo said.

US-based United Parcel Service Inc and FedEx Corp, two of the world’s largest logistics companies, said they were suspending deliveries to Russia.

Global aircraft lessors also said they would have to terminate hundreds of aircraft leases with Russian carriers following EU sanctions calling for such contracts to end on March 28. .

Russian airline Aeroflot on Sunday said it would cancel all flights to European destinations after EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell said the EU had decided to close its airspace. themselves towards Russian traffic.

The United States is considering similar action, but has yet to make a final decision, according to US officials.

The US government on Sunday said citizens should consider leaving Russia immediately on commercial flights, citing an increasing number of airlines canceling flights as countries close their airspace to Russia. [L1N2V307H]

(Reporting by Anne Kauranen in Helsinki, Maki Shiraki in Tokyo, Joyce Lee in Seoul, Aradhana Aravindan in Singapore and Ilona Wissenbach in Berlin; editing by Jason Neely)

https://www.oann.com/airspace-closures-send-airlines-on-detours-add-to-cargo-woes/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=airspace-closures-send-airlines-on-detours-add-to-cargo-woes Airspace closures cause airlines to detour, adding to cargo woes

Bobby Allyn

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