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Airlines avoiding Belarus airspace following forced Ryanair diversion

A Wizz Air flight is tracked avoiding Belarus

Cathy Adams
Monday 24 May 2021 11:24 BST
(Flight Radar 24)

Airlines appear to be avoiding Belarus airspace following the forced diversion of a Ryanair jet carrying a dissident journalist.

According to data from tracking platform Flight Radar 24, airlines can be seen skirting the Belarusian territory.

Ryanair flight 4978 was flying from Athens to VilniusLithuania, on Sunday when it was forced to divert to Minsk because air-traffic controllers in Belarus told the pilots of a “potential security threat on board”.

There were more than 120 passengers onboard the Boeing 737 aircraft.

Belarusian dissident, Roman Protasevich, was aboard the Ryanair flight. He and his partner were apprehended when the plane landed in Minsk, the Belarus capital.

A Wizz Air flight from Kiev, Ukraine, to Tallinn, Estonia, was tracked flying a longer route around Belarus. The most direct route would be straight across the country.

Meanwhile, an Austrian Airlines service from its home base Vienna to Russian capital Moscow just skirts the bottom of Belarus.

However, plenty of services, both commercial and cargo, are still overflying the country, according to live tracking data.

There has been no official announcement from Easa, the European aviation safety body, for airlines to stop overflying Belarus airspace.

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