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Snake Island before the Russian attack

Founded in 1923, the national airline Aeroflot Russia And the country’s largest airline will not fly to Great Britain. This decision was taken by Boris Johnson, which opened the wheel of more “air sanctions” on Russian airlines.

Aeroflot will not fly to Great Britain. But there is revenge

The ban on flights to and from the UK and entry into the country’s airspace via Aeroflot is one of the sanctions announced by London after the unprecedented Russian military attack on Ukraine. In addition, British Airways announced on Friday morning that it will avoid Russian airspace and cancel its flights to the Russian capital.

Moscow reacted fairly quickly and banned British airlines from flying over Russia in response, Reuters reported. Thus, we will not fly from Great Britain to Russia and vice versa.

There will be no Russian planes in the skies of Poland

Poland is taking a decision on a similar step. Mateusz Morawiecki announced on Friday afternoon that he had already requested the preparation of a Cabinet decision that would lead to the closure of airspace over Poland to Russian airlines.

Polish Airlines also responded quickly FlightWhich announced the complete suspension of flights to Moscow and St. Petersburg. Thus, all direct contacts between Poland and Russia will be deleted.

We would like to inform you that due to the current situation, starting at 3 pm local time, PLL LOT has suspended communications to Moscow and Saint Petersburg. Alternative routes for transit flights will be developed. LOT’s customer service department will contact passengers residing in Russia

– LOT was informed in response to our request for comment on this matter.

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The Russians will feel the flight ban, because Poland is almost in the middle of Europe

However, it is the inability to fly Russian lines over our country that will hurt the Russians the most. This will mean great difficulties for Russian airlines that are still flying over central Poland on their way to the countries of southwestern Europe.

If the ban comes into effect (and will come into effect from midnight Friday to Saturday), the Russians will have to avoid Poland, which is located almost in the center of Europe – ideally on the way from Moscow to Paris, Madrid, Barcelona, ​​Rome, Frankfurt and many other cities.

Moreover, the only option would be to bypass our country from the north (and thus fly over the Baltic states), since flights over Ukrainian airspace are now completely suspended. This makes sense, of course, only assuming that other countries will not impose a similar ban on Russian airlines.

Russian fonts may have a huge problem

Which is at least likely. As the independent Belarusian portal NEXTA has just announced, the Czech Republic will join Poland and will also decide to close its space. The movement of our southern neighbor is unlikely to harm the Russians, but it is quite symbolic, because it shows that a similar ban should soon be announced by other countries, at least in our region.

If the Baltic states decide to do so, Russian airlines will have a big problem getting to countries in Western and Southern Europe, or even Germany. Traveling from Moscow through the Gulf of Finland in the Baltic Sea is a rather poor solution.

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Approximate flight route Moscow – Munich Image: screenshot from Google Maps

In contrast, avoiding Ukraine from the east is a worse idea. Because of the great danger of reaching the south, almost all civilian aircraft avoid the borders of Ukraine in a wide arc. They are approaching at most about a thousand kilometers to the Donbass and flew over western Kazakhstan, then over the Caspian Sea.

Putin’s revenge could do a lot of damage to Western carriers

Of course, all the sanctions against Russia are a good step in the face of Putin’s brutal attack on Ukraine. Unfortunately, every stick has two ends, and Russia (to put it mildly) is a big country on the surface. The Kremlin has already made it clear (in response to the British move) that when imposing a flight ban on Russia, the decision itself should be considered as revenge.

Approximate flight route London - BeijingApproximate flight route London – Beijing Image: screenshot from Google Maps

Banning flights over Russia will be a major problem for any European airline operating direct flights to cities in the Far East. For example, on the way from Warsaw to Beijing, planes have to fly over it BelarusThen they traveled thousands of kilometers over Russia, flew over Mongolia, and only then entered the airspace of China.

So it will be the same problem with flights from London or Prague to Beijing, Tokyo, Seoul and other large cities in far Asia (many of which are not implemented now due to the pandemic, but may return). Avoiding Russia would be very costly, and therefore not profitable, because it would mean a trip south of Ukraine and then Central Asia, which would significantly extend the route.

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Approximate flight path Warsaw - TokyoApproximate flight path Warsaw – Tokyo Image: screenshot from Google Maps

If more European countries decide to ban Russian lines, the Russians will lose easy access to Europe, at least in southern and western Europe. On the other hand, Europeans may have problems traveling to China, Taiwan, Japan or South Korea some of the time.