During US President Biden’s State of the Union address today, March 1, 2022, the American leader stated that the United States of America will close down air space to incoming Russian flights. The actual cut-off date and time was not yet announced.
Biden stated: “Tonight, I am announcing that we will join our allies in closing off American air space to all Russian flights, further isolating Russia and adding an additional squeeze on their economy.”
The initial thrust of the State of the Union address was to show solidarity with Ukraine and US allies by counteracting Russia President Putin’s assault on Ukraine.
This past Sunday, the EU banned all travel from Russian planes over its airspace which applied to “any plane owned, chartered, or otherwise controlled by a Russian legal or natural person.” It also included any aircraft privately owned by a Russian oligarch. Basically, nobody can fly out of Russia now.
The only Russian airline that flies out of the country to the United States is Aeroflot.
Aeroflot operates direct flights from Moscow to four destinations in the USA: New York, Los Angeles, Washington, and Miami. The glitch here is that the European Union (EU) and Canada have already closed off air space to Russia, and Aeroflot’s flights are routed over Canada. This essentially disables the airline from flying into America.
On Sunday, Aeroflot decided to turn its aircraft around on its journey from Moscow to New York. But a flight from Miami kept flying and used Canadian airspace despite Canada closing it off. An investigation is now underway because Aeroflot claimed it was a humanitarian flight.
There are no US commercial passenger airlines that fly to Russia. However, with a reciprocal closure of Russian airspace by Putin, flights that have historically flown over the nation on routes between Asia and North America can no longer take place.
Image courtesy of whitehouse.gov