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Tuesday, December 6, 2022

The US Joins Allies and Bans Russian Planes from US Airspace

In retribution for Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, President Joe Biden declared Tuesday night in his State of the Union speech that the US will prohibit Russian planes from US airspace.

Canada and the European Union both took similar steps this week. Biden also delivered a chilling warning that if no action is taken, Russian President Vladimir Putin’s aggressiveness will go beyond Ukraine.

“I am announcing that we will join our partners in blocking off American airspace to all Russian planes,” Biden stated, “further isolating Russia and putting extra strain on their economy.”

The prohibition would be added to a slew of sanctions placed on Russia by the United States, Europe, and other countries, which have caused the ruble’s value to plummet and are likely to wreak havoc on the country’s economy.

The European Union and Canada said on Sunday that Russian airlines and private jets owned by affluent Russians will be denied access to their airspace.

Because of the Canadian embargo, Russia’s largest airline, Aeroflot, said on Monday that flights to New York, Washington, Miami, and Los Angeles would be stopped until Wednesday.

The United States’ prohibition raises the risk that Russia may retaliate by barring US aircraft over its territory, making flights longer and more expensive, particularly for freight carriers. Both FedEx and UPS fly over Russia, despite the fact that FedEx and UPS declared last weekend that they would be stopping deliveries to the nation.

Although a few flights to India cross through Russian airspace, no American carriers operate to Russia. American Airlines’ lone flight between Delhi and New York takes a detour through Russian airspace, adding miles to the journey and necessitating a refueling stop in Bangor, Maine, on westbound flights.

Russia is likewise interested in protecting US carrier overflights. According to aviation experts, Russia earns a significant amount of money through fees charged to access its airspace or land at its airports.

European airlines fly over Russia significantly more frequently than American flights. According to aviation data provider Cirium, around 600 planes to or from Europe flew through Russian airspace prior to the conflict.

United Airlines declared that it would no longer use Russian airspace and would cancel several flights to India even before Biden’s declaration. After traveling a long path across the Middle East, an aircraft from Mumbai to its Newark base is planned to stop in Bangor, Maine, for refueling on Wednesday.

A ban on Russian flights might result in reprisal against Boeing, a major American exporter and one of the world’s two leading airplane manufacturers.

It is commonly understood that Russia and China are discussing foreign policy. According to George Ferguson, an aerospace expert for Bloomberg Intelligence, the escalation in tensions between the West and Russia makes it less likely that China would soon permit flights by Boeing’s 737 Max airliner.

Before it was grounded after two tragic accidents, China was the Max’s greatest market, and neither China nor Russia have yet approved the plane’s return. According to Ferguson, a delay in their approval of the Max will diminish Boeing’s planned aircraft deliveries, which are a key source of income for the Chicago-based corporation.

The United States’ prohibition raises the risk that Russia may retaliate by barring US aircraft over its territory, making flights longer and more expensive, particularly for freight carriers. Both FedEx and UPS fly over Russia, despite the fact that FedEx and UPS declared last weekend that they would be stopping deliveries to the nation.

Although a few flights to India cross through Russian airspace, no American carriers operate to Russia. American Airlines’ lone flight between Delhi and New York takes a detour through Russian airspace, adding miles to the journey and necessitating a refueling stop in Bangor, Maine, on westbound flights.

Cedric Blackwater
Cedric Blackwater
Cedric is a journalist with over a decade of experience reporting on local US news, and touching on many global topics. He is currently the lead writer for Bulletin News.

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