Airlines around the world are changing routes and canceling flights to avoid Russian airspaceThe changes will lengthen journey times and increase costs for carriers that are beginning to recover from their pandemic.
With the Russian ban According to airlines and analysts, many European airlines fly from its skies around the giant country which can extend hundreds of miles and up to two hours for some flights, giving rise to higher fuel, labor and maintenance costs. That could translate into higher fares and freight rates, creating another key in the world’s disrupted global supply chain.
Deutsche Lufthansa AG of
The freight division has canceled flights to several Asian cities including Hong Kong and Beijing until the end of March. The German airline said its freighters will fly south of Russian airspace, forcing it to adjust its flight schedule and reduce the amount of cargo it can carry by 20%.
Virgin Atlantic Airways Ltd. based in London has suspended its four-weekly freighter service from London to Shanghai while it evaluates a possible alternative route.
suspending key passenger and freight routes to cities in South Korea, Japan and China.
Russian flag carrier
PJSC, meanwhile, scraps its entire European network after the country’s planes were banned from joining the European Union. In Monday,
said it would cancel flights to North America over the next few days after Canada banned Russian planes from entering its airspace. US imposes its own airspace ban on Russian aircraft, effective late Wednesday.
U.S. passenger carriers do not operate direct flights to Russia, but
said it would stop flying over Russia en route to India.
Delta Airlines Inc.
also said they are giving clear direction.
Other airlines are located the conflict in Ukraine cannot escape the consequences. Qantas Airways Ltd’s non-stop service. from Australia to London will go through the Middle East and Southern Europe instead of Russia, adding about an hour to the flight. And
Singapore Airlines Ltd.
said it would not fly over Russia and suspended services to Moscow.
“The recovery from Covid will be delayed,” said Phil Seymour, president of aviation consulting firm IBA Group. He notes that flight times will increase, costs will increase and revenue will decrease. “The entire supply chain will continue to be disrupted and we already have enough disruptions,” he added.
Cargo flights are a bright spot for airlines during the pandemic and help offset losses caused by decline in passenger travel. According to the International Air Transport Association, flights to Asia from Europe and North America account for nearly half of global air traffic, and airline executives say the majority of those arriving in East Asia passed through Russian airspace prior to the recent closure.
Ireland-based ASL Aviation Holdings says its flights to and from Asia are now flying over Kazakhstan instead of Russia. For example, that adds about 100 minutes to a flight between Belgium and South Korea, which currently takes 10 hours.
Rerouting around Russia is expensive, adding about 700 nautical miles to a flight from Frankfurt to Beijing, usually 4,217 knots, according to Eurocontrol, the company that manages Europe’s air traffic control systems.
Several US cargo airlines, including
, continued through Russia earlier this week on routes to Asia from North America and the Middle East. That vital cargo route could be shut down if Russia responds to a US ban on its planes.
Border closures and travel restrictions during the Covid-19 pandemic have hit the airline industry hard, with tens of thousands of workers laid off or laid off and airlines at risk of more than 200 losses. billion dollars, according to an estimate from IATA. Despite a step backwards Since the arrival of the Omicron variant, tourism has begun to recover globally. Total tourist arrivals hit 47% of pre-Covid levels in 2021 and are expected to grow to 83% this year, according to IATA forecasts this week.
People may pause travel plans if they fear an escalation of conflict or worry that passenger planes could be at risk, analysts say. In 2014, Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 en route from Amsterdam crashed in Ukraine, killing 29 people. Dutch prosecutors say it was hit by a Russian missile system. Russia considers the Dutch findings to be biased and politically motivated.
PLC, the discount airline, which is Europe’s largest airline in terms of passengers, fell 20% from the previous week on Thursday and Friday of last week, after Russia began its invasion of Ukraine, Director said executive Michael O’Leary.
Ron Bartsch, a former safety executive at Qantas who is now president of Sydney-based consulting firm Avlaw, said he would advise airlines to ensure they carry out a risk assessment. It is possible that some airlines may still consider it safe to fly over central Russia or parts of northern Russia away from Ukraine, he said.
“If they can completely avoid Russian airspace, I think that will be their choice,” he said. “The difference between the world after MH17 and what might have been reasonable and acceptable before will probably not be the same as it is now.”
Before Russia invaded Ukraine, American airlines lobbied for more access to Russian airspace, stressing the importance of being able to travel on so-called great circle routes, or shortest distance between two points on the globe. In November, the US State Department said that Russia had approved an application for additional flights by US aircraft carriers and that it continued to work with Russian authorities to secure additional air service rights. are not.
Some analysts have suggested that airlines in Japan and South Korea – which are still allowed to pass through Russian airspace despite their countries’ criticism of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine – may also have to change their routes. According to an analysis from Alton Aviation Consulting.
That would increase fuel burn by more than 20% and lead to nearly $25,000 in fuel costs for the round trip, according to Alton’s analysis.
—Alison Sider contributed to this article.
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https://www.wsj.com/articles/amid-ukraine-war-airlines-plot-detours-around-russia-as-flight-bans-intensify-11646232786 In the midst of the Ukraine war, airlines’ detours around Russia as flight bans are strengthened