MIAMI – After the events yesterday, when Ryanair (FR) flight FR4978 was forced to land in Minsk and the arrest of Roman Journalist Protasevich took place, and in response to the EASA recommendations, airBaltic rerouted several of their flights.
The initial press release this morning states that flight BT410 from Riga to Odessa and BT724 from Riga to Tbilisi have been rerouted to completely avoid Belarus airspace. This is one step further than the EASA recommendation to exercise caution when flying to or over Minsk, and more in line with the announcement by the UK Ministry of Transport.
A few hours later airBaltic announced that due to a lack of clarity from the regulating authorities, the airline would continue to reroute their flights on May 25. This reroute will affect flights from Riga to Athens and from Riga to Heraklion.
Measures Being Taken
The United Kingdom Civil Aviation Authority (UK CAA) has also released an official statement, stating that all permits held by Belarusian Airlines have been suspended, and that all UK registered aircraft should avoid flying over Belarus. So far it is the only regulatory authority who has put out such a statement.
While many countries, ICAO, and other authorities have expressed alarm about the situation, as of this time there has not been many official decisions made by authorities. The EU has gathered today to discuss and agree on what the next steps will be taken. It is expected that an initial decision will be released today, however, it will depend on the agreement of the EU leaders.
ICAO has announced today that they have called the 36 member ICAO council for an urgent meeting on May 27.
Featured image: Air Baltic YL-AAQ Airbus A220-371. Photo: Alberto Cucini/Airways