Tag Archives: flights

EU bans Belarus flights

Brussels 07.06.2021 The Council on Juin 4 has decided to strengthen the existing restrictive measures in view of the situation in Belarus by introducing a ban on the overflight of EU airspace and on access to EU airports by Belarusian carriers of all kinds. (Image above: illustration).

EU member states will therefore be required to deny permission to land in, take off from or overfly their territories to any aircraft operated by Belarusian air carriers, including as a marketing carrier.

Today’s decision follows up on the European Council conclusions of 24 and 25 May 2021, in which EU heads of state and government strongly condemned the unlawful forced landing of a Ryanair flight in Minsk on 23 May 2021 endangering aviation safety.

The conclusions also condemned the detention by Belarusian authorities of journalist Roman Protasevich and Sofia Sapega, and called on the Council to adopt the necessary measures, including additional listings of persons and entities on the basis of the relevant sanctions framework, and further targeted economic sanctions.

“We renew our call in the strongest terms to release all political prisoners in Belarus” the president of the EU Council Charles Michel wrote in his Twitter micro blog.

Further sanctions on entities and individuals following rapidly in response to the interception of a passenger jet by Belarus, EU leaders on demanded the release of opposition activist Roman Protasevich and his companion, Sofia Sapega, Russian citizen, and called for a barrage of new sanctions against the government of strongman Alexander Lukashenko.

EU governments, which described the incident as state piracy, say they are looking at targeting sectors that play a central role in the Belarus economy, to inflict real punishment on President Alexander Lukashenko. They could include bond sales, the oil sector and potash, a big Belarusian export.

Kurdistan international flights banned

International flights to and from Iraq’s Kurdistan region were set to end from 6:00 p.m. (11.00 a.m. ET) on Friday, September 29, after the central government imposed a ban in retaliation for the region’s vote in a referendum for independence.

Almost all foreign airlines suspended flights to the airports of Erbil and Sulaimaniya, in compliance with a notice from the government in Baghdad, which has control over the country’s airspace.

Lufthansa and Austrian were the only carriers to have kept at least one flight still scheduled after the deadline. But a spokesman for Lufthansa Group said on Friday morning it was checking whether it would have to cancel flights.

Lufthansa flies once a week to Erbil on Saturdays, while its unit Austrian Airlines flies daily. Domestic flights are still permitted to and from Kurdistan, and so travelers are expected to get there mostly by transiting via Baghdad’s airport, which will come under strain from the extra traffic.

Kurdish airports handle 40 to 50 percent of Iraq’s total international traffic, Taher Abdallah, Sulaimaniya airport’s director general, told reporters on Wednesday.

Check-in operations at Erbil’s international airport were running smoothly on Friday morning and there was no sign of disruption.

Iraq’s Kurds endorsed secession by nine to one in a vote on Monday, September 25, that caused Baghdad knitting brows, and other governments who fear the referendum could lead to renewed conflict in the region.

The United Nations and United States have both offered to help mediate between Kurdistan and Baghdad.