LONDON – On March 16, Korean Air has announced that they would be rerouting their flights going to Europe and North America on flights that would cross the Russian airspace.
Unlike many western countries, Korea is not banned to fly over Russia, yet makes this decision based on operational and safety concerns.
One of their operational challenges was that Russia has informed Korean Air that they could not refuel their planes in Moscow.
Korean Air has also canceled all passenger and freight services to and from Moscow and Vladivostok, even on flights that used Moscow as their stopover.
This temporary cancelation will last until the end of April.
The South Korean low-cost carrier Air Busan said that they would suspend all of their 6 flights to Vladivostok until April 15, also citing operational and safety concerns.
The routes to Europe will be rerouted through China, Kazakhstan, and Turkey, which may add up to hours of flight time.
Flights to North America will be rerouted through Alaska and the pacific ocean. These flights will add up to 2 hours of flight time.
Korean Air isn’t the only one who has been hit with Russian restrictions.
Japan’s ANA and JAL were forced to cancel their European flights as they were banned from flying over the Russian airspace and Europe’s Finnair has also been banned from flying over the Russian airspace, forcing them to cancel their flights to Seoul.