The International Air Transport Association (IATA) explained the need continue flights through Russian airspace. William Walsh, CEO of IATA and former head of British Airways, said such a move is needed to reduce the burden on airlines. He writes about it on Tuesday, December 6 Telegram.
“The West should start preparing to reopen Russian airspace to ease the pressure on airlines,” Walsh said.
The publication of the British edition says that the Russian Federation’s airspace “covering 11 time zones” was closed shortly after the start of the Russian military operation in Ukraine on February 24.
“However, Middle Eastern and Chinese airlines continued to fly through Russia, but Russia’s passenger traffic was constrained by Beijing’s anti-coronavirus policy,” the publication said.
Against this backdrop, the IATA chief expects China to “free the public for air travel” next year by easing COVID-19 restrictions.
In this case, Chinese airlines will have a commercial advantage over airlines such as British Airways, whose flights are extended by an average of four hours to fly in Russian airspace.
“We must pay attention to the opening of Russian airspace. “We should try to reopen Russian airspace to make it suitable for all airlines to pass through traditional Siberia flights, so that Europe can reach Asia most efficiently,” Walsh said.
At the same time, he believes that the opening of Russian airspace “should not happen as long as the war in Ukraine continues.”
Russia received $1.7 billion in top flight fees in 2019, according to the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), a world record.
Noting that the flight bans in the airspace of Russia and Ukraine have become a serious problem for airlines, Walsh said, “There are more and more people in the European skies every day.”
According to him, the volume of traffic passing through Europe has increased and in the long run carriers “will have to return to more normal operations.”
“When the war is over, we must hope that the war will stop,” he concluded.
The Telegraph notes that in recent weeks, airlines on the continent have begun lobbying in Brussels to review the flight ban in Russian airspace.
“The pressure from the airlines was that in November a Dutch court accepted Three people are responsible for the downing of Malaysian plane MH17 in 2014. The trio were part of the Russian armed group responsible for the plane crash that killed 298 people.
Richard Branson, founder of Virgin Atlantic and a close friend of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, has previously said he supports banning Chinese airlines from flying to the UK over Russian airspace, according to The Telegraph. By contrast, Shai Weiss, CEO of Virgin Atlantic, believes UK and EU leaders should ensure “level playing fields” between airlines regarding flights over Russia.
February 27 – three days after the start Russian special operations in Ukraine – The President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, announced that the flights of Russian airlines in all EU airspace were banned. In response to this and similar decisions of other Western countries, Federal Air Transport Agency, EU countries, Norway, Canada, England etc.
Ben Stock is a business analyst and writer for “Social Bites”. He offers insightful articles on the latest business news and developments, providing readers with a comprehensive understanding of the business world.