Estonia recommends airlines avoid Belarusian airspace

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Passenger jet over Tallinn Airport. Source: Priit Mürk/ERR

The Estonian Transport Administration is sending a recommendation to all airlines to avoid Belarusian airspace and make changes to flight schedules accordingly.

The recommendation will come into force on May 25 and is based on Monday's European Council decision calling on all European Union airlines to avoid Belarusian airspace on flights, the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Communications said.

"Many airlines have already decided not to fly over Belarus. Europe's top executives reached the same position late last night [Monday], and Estonia's official recommendation today also goes to all Estonian airlines. For passengers, this means longer flight times on some flights, slightly higher fuel consumption for airlines, but we cannot ignore recent moves in Belarus," Minister of Economic Affairs and Infrastructure Taavi Aas (Center) said.

As the forced landing of the Ryanair aircraft may have violated the requirements of aviation conventions and other international agreements, the issue will also be addressed in the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) this Sunday.

The decision to ban flights between Tallinn and Minsk and to close Estonian airspace to Belarusian air carriers will be made jointly with other EU member states in accordance with a decision to be made by the Council of the European Union. "Belavia will be able to fly until the expected sanctions plan towards Belarus is reached," Aas added. 

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Editor: Helen Wright

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