Spain closes the airspace to Russia and joins the veto of its European partners

Spain closes the airspace to Russian airlines in response to the attacks ordered by Putin in Ukraine, something that several European countries have already announced. The measure follows the cooperation guidelines set by the European Union and will have effects on flights operated by Russian airlines that use Spanish airspace, although they have not specified their duration. “Spain will proceed to close the airspace to Russian airlines. Following the cooperation guidelines set by the European Union, this measure will have effects on operated flights by Russian airlines that use Spanish airspace,” the Ministry said on its Twitter account.

Although they have not yet decided when it will come into force and the effective closure will proceed, since it is awaiting this afternoon’s meeting of the foreign ministers of the European Union. What they foresee is that it will be in the “next few hours”, although they have specified that an immediate closure can never be decreed since there may be a flight in transit. Aena sources have explained to Efe that this Sunday the Russian airlines Aeroflot and Siberia Airlines 12 flights have been suspended they had scheduled from the Russian capital Moscow to various airports in the Spanish network. Two of them were to Barajas (Madrid), four to Barcelona, ​​two to Malaga, three to Alicante and one to Valencia. Asked how many daily connections there are usually from Russia to Spain, they have answered that they are usually included in a range between 6-8 and with a maximum of 15. As an example they have put the one that for tomorrow there were five scheduled.

The decision is made after other neighboring countries, such as France, have also announced it as a penalty to Russia, in force since this Sunday. “France closes its airspace from this afternoon to Russian planes and airlines. Russian invasion of Ukrainethe unity of Europe is total,” announced the Secretary of State for Transport, Jean-Baptiste Djebbari, on Twitter.

Germany has taken a further step, by announcing the cutting of air connections for a period of three months, also in force from this very Sunday, after announcing on Saturday night the preparations to veto the Russian aircraft flyby. In a statement, the ministry specified only the exception of humanitarian and rescue flights, as well as emergency landings. “All aircraft owned, chartered or operated by citizens of the Russian Federation, operators with a certificate issued by the authorities of the Russian Federation, are prohibited from entering, leaving or overflying German airspace,” the aeronautical notification (NOTAM) states.

In this sense, the measure has been accompanied by the suspension of all connections with Russia of its flag carrier, Lufthansa. The group pointed out that “due to the current situation and the emerging regulatory situation, Lufthansa will not fly over Russian airspace in the next seven days”, but that in any case they would continue to monitor the situation and be in contact with the authorities. Since Friday, the list of countries that restricts Russia in this area has been gradually increasing. Thus, the aforementioned list is also joined by Poland, Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Slovenia, Romania, Czech Republic, Ireland and Finland.

The case of Austria is striking, a neutral country that is not a member of NATO, but has decided to follow in the footsteps of its neighboring countries and restrict entry by air to the Russians. “We have always said very clearly: we will respond in a consistent and determined to the Russian invasion. The closure of the airspace is an important part of this response,” underlines the Austrian Minister for Mobility, Energy and Climate Protection, the environmentalist Leonore Gewessler. Hours earlier, the minister had indicated on Twitter her government’s support for the closure, but noting that he preferred to wait for an adoption unanimous of this measure by the European Union.

On the other hand, the Austrian agency APA points out that, “before the imminent closure of airspace for Russia”, the airline Austrian Airlines, based in Vienna, has reported that it adopts the same measure as the German Lufthansa, to which it belongs. , not to fly over Russian airspace at least for the next seven days. “Flights to Russia will be suspended during this period,” the company said in a statement.

Moscow has reacted by prohibiting planes from those countries from flying over its airspace. These restrictions have forced the cancellation of dozens of flights to European destinations from Moscow’s Domodedovo and Sheremetievo airports. Likewise, the Russian airline S7 Airlines has reported on Facebook the cancellation of many of its flights until at least March 13, while Aeroflot, the largest Russian airline, has canceled its flights to Latvia and Romania until at least March 26 and to Prague and Warsaw until the 28th of March. In addition, Russia has responded with reciprocity to these measures of European countries.