<p>Flight SU2091 took a circuitous route from Belgrade to Moscow</p>

Flight SU2091 took a circuitous route from Belgrade to Moscow

Flights forced to take crazy routes due to airspace bans

The current airspace bans due to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine are resulting in some unusual flight paths

Lucy Thackray
Wednesday 02 March 2022 12:15
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Since several countries and regions - including the UK, EU and Canada - banned all Russian aircraft from their airspace, international aviation routes have been drastically changed.

Russia has in turn banned all 27 EU countries’ planes from its airspace, along with the UK and several other nations, meaning circuitous routes from Europe to some Asian destinations.

Fans of flight tracking website Flightradar24 have been watching the convoluted flight paths of commercial jets in recent days, as pilots attempt to skirt around off-limits portions of sky.

On Sunday, Russian Aeroflot flight SU2091 flew an elaborate curve around Bulgaria, Moldova and Romania while travelling from Belgrade to Moscow, adding three hours and 40 minutes to its journey time.

Three subsequent Belgrade to Moscow flights have been cancelled between Monday and today.

Meanwhile, the airline’s Moscow to New York flight, also on Sunday night, was forced to operate a nearly nine-hour “flight to nowhere” after it crossed the Atlantic only to be banned from Canadian airspace at 9am ET.

Aeroflot SU124 flew more than a third of the journey before turning back for Moscow, four hours in.

When the Boeing 777 had almost got as far as Greenland, the decision was made to turn back, with a total flight time of eight hours 43 minutes.

Meanwhile, Aeroflot’s SU157 flight from Punta Cana, Dominican Republic, to Moscow was forced to make an exaggerated upward curve on Sunday night, skirting the east coast of the US and flying south over the east of Finland in order to reach home base.

Aeroflot’s flight from Punta Cana to Moscow

Russian charter airline Pegas Fly made an awkward arch over Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia to fly the usually straightforward hop between Kaliningrad, a Russian enclave on the Baltic Sea, and Belarusian capital Minsk.

The journey, which usually takes 50 minutes, took nearly two and a half hours to complete.

Franak Viacorka, a political advisor in Belarus, tweeted: “New reality.”

The US last night joined the UK, EU and Canada in closing off its airspace to Russian aircraft.

“We will join our allies in closing off American airspace to all Russian flights, further isolating Russia and adding additional squeeze on their economy,” said President Biden during his State of the Union address.

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