Canada Bans Russian Airlines From Its Airspace

Canada banned Russian aircraft operators from its airspace on Feb. 27 as a further response to the Russian Federations invasion of Ukraine.

The move was announced by Transport Minister Omar Alghabra and Foreign Affairs Minister, Melanie Joly and it sees Canada prohibiting the operation of Russian-owned, chartered or operated aircraft in Canadian airspace, including in the airspace above Canada’s territorial waters.

This airspace closure too effect immediately on its announcement and is to remain in effect until further notice.

In making the announcement, Transport Minister Alghabra said: “All of Canada is united in its outrage of President Putin’s aggression against Ukraine. In response, we have closed Canadian airspace to Russian-owned or operated aircraft. The Government of Canada condemns Russia’s aggressive actions and we will continue to take action to stand with Ukraine.”

While Foreign Affairs Minister Mélanie Joly made it clear that: “Canada will continue to do everything it can against the Russian regime’s aggression. We are united with our allies in our unwavering support to Ukraine and are working to bring this unprovoked war to an end.”

Canada’s move falls in line with similar actions by numerous European governments, including – among others, the Baltic states, Poland, the Czech Republic, Bulgaria, Romania, Slovenia, Germany, Spain, France, Denmark, the Netherlands, Begium, Austria, Ireland and the United Kingdom

Finnair has announced that in anticipation of airspace closure by that country it is partially cancelling its flights to Asia and its flights to Moscow and St. Petersburg for one week.

The carrier is cancelling its passenger and/or cargo flights to Seoul, Osaka, Tokyo, Shanghai and Guangzhou in Asia and to Moscow and St Petersburg in Russia between Feb. 28 and March 6. Its flights to Hong Kong had already been cancelled until the end of March.

However, it says it will continue to operate passenger and/or cargo flights to Bangkok, Phuket, Singapore and Delhi but will reroute the flights to avoid Russian airspace which will lengthen the flight times by approximately one hour.

Finnair said that the decision on Russian airspace usage after March 6 will be made later as the possible regulatory changes clarify.