Are French airlines in Russia’s viewfinder ?

Roissy CDG, 27 May 2021 – The French Union of Airline Pilots (SNPL) was more than surprised to learn that in the last few days flights to Russia operated by French airlines had to be cancelled due to the lack of formal operational authorisation from the Russian authorities.

Indeed, since the beginning of the week, French airlines, like all European airlines, have been called upon to avoid flying over Belarus, due to the diversion of an airliner on Sunday by the Belarusian authorities. The French Minister for Transport has given the same instructions to all companies operating in France.

These companies must therefore, in order to continue to operate certain flights, build alternative routes to those initially planned and authorised through Belarusian airspace. They have requested, according to the usual procedure, modifications of flight plans from the Russian authorities in particular in order to be able to operate flights between France and Russia.

But, whereas usually the answers to this type of requests for modifications are instantly accepted, there has been complete radio silence for the last 2 days…these flights had to be cancelled, for lack of formal authorization to fly over Russian airspace.

The SNPL is surprised by this lack of reactivity of the Russian authorities and hopes that a normal situation will be quickly re-established between the parties involved, in order to ensure visibility for passengers regarding their booked flight, while preserving their safety.

The SNPL therefore requests that everything be done by the authorities, and that international law be respected, so that French airlines can continue to operate their services to Russia.