- Russia refused to approve new route avoiding Belarusian airspace
- Air France Flight AF1155 from Moscow to Paris was cancelled as well
- Air France had offered passengers to choose a new travel date or to get a refund for the cancelled flight
French flag carrier Air France announced to day that it has cancelled its scheduled flight from Paris to Moscow after Russian authorities refused to approve the route that would allow French airline to avoid Belarusian airspace.
According to Air France’s spokesperson, Flight AF1154 was cancelled “for operational reasons linked to the bypassing of Belarusian airspace, requiring a new authorization from the Russian authorities to enter their territory.”
Air France added that Flight AF1155 from Moscow to Paris was cancelled as well. French carrier said that it had offered passengers to choose a new travel date or to get a refund for the cancelled flight.
According to some reports, Air France still “planned to run its next scheduled Moscow flight on Friday, subject to Russian approval of a flight plan that would allow it to avoid overflying Belarus.”
After Belarus hijacked a Ryanair jetliner, the European Union leaders banned Belarusian airlines from all EU airports and EU airspace and called on all European airlines to avoid Belarusian airspace.
A passenger jet belonging to Ryanair, an Irish low-cost airline, performing a flight from Athens to Vilnius on May 23 was forced to make a landing at Minsk International Airport after Belarusian security forces staged a fake bomb threat under and dispatched MiG-29 fighter jet to force Irish passenger airliner to land in Belarus.
Upon landing in Minsk, Belarusian security agents searched the plane and its passengers and arrested an independent journalist and a co-founder of Nexta Telegram channel Roman Protasevich, who had been among the flight’s passengers. He was immediately detained by Belarusian KGB agents and transported to Minsk’s notorious central Detention Center No. 1, famous for brutal torture of the opponents of the country’s brutal regime.