The Russian invasion of Ukraine has raised serious questions about whether it is currently safe to travel to and within Europe, causing further difficulties in Europe’s travel industry, which has already been hit hard by the coronavirus.
Russia’s military invasion of Ukraine has prompted a slew of European countries to impose sanctions as well as ban other airlines from flying in their airspace, TheSchengen.com reports.
Recently, the European Union banned Russian aircraft from operating in its airspace. This decision was confirmed by the President of the European Union Commission Ursula von der Leyen.
First, we are closing the airspace of the European Union to the Russians. We propose a ban on all Russian-owned, Russian-registered, or Russian-controlled aircraft. These planes will no longer be able to land, take off or fly over the territory of the European Union. This applies to any aircraft owned, leased or controlled in any way by a Russian natural or legal person,” von der Leyen noted.
Soon after the EU decision, authorities in Russia announced that they had taken similar steps, closing its airspace to airlines from 27 EU countries.
In addition, the Russian authorities announced that they had closed their airspace in the following nine countries: Anguilla, Albania, the Virgin Islands, Canada, Gibraltar, Jersey, Iceland, the United Kingdom and Norway.
According to a Reuters report, the number of flights through Kazakhstan’s airspace has tripled to more than 450 recently.
The decision of many European and non-European countries to ban flights from their airspace and the reciprocal action taken by the Russian authorities prompted airlines to search for possible routes.
In order to avoid Ukrainian and Russian airspace, US airlines are now subject to long-haul flights, which results in greater emissions and higher costs for airlines amid increased fuel prices, Axios reported.
According to Umang Gupta, managing director at Alton Aviation Consultancy, the typical flight time between Europe and Asia is about 11.8 hours, and about 13.5 flying hours in the opposite direction.
In this regard, Gupta noted that “in the best-case scenario, more than two hours of flight time would be added in each direction.”
The neighboring countries of Russia and Ukraine are also affected by the recent situation in Ukraine, especially the tourism industry.
According to InfoRádió’s tourism expert, Richard Robert Kiss, Hungary’s tourism industry will be directly affected by the situation in Ukraine, with Russians and Ukrainians among the top ten primary nationalities of travelers in the domestic sector.
In addition, the authorities in Finland have also announced that due to the Russian invasion of Ukraine, a large number of people have canceled their flights amid heightened security concerns.