Ukraine Crisis: Russian Airlines Enroute to Cuba Circumvent Closed Airspace

Anna Zvereva from Tallinn, Estonia, CC BY-SA 2.0 , via Wikimedia Commons

LONDON – With the increasing tensions between Russia and Ukraine as they head into the 13th day of the War, the West is making strict measures by imposing harsh airspace utilization rights to Russian registered airlines and aircraft, thus blocking the access to European, USA, and South American markets.

But amidst this, the Russian carriers have found another innovative way to reach the quadrant airspace in Europe, the United States, and Canada, by immensely modifying their flight path over its usual route to cross North Atlantic and arrive in Northern America.

An example of this unusual flight path was observed when NordWind Airlines flight 514 took quite an unusual path to cross North Atlantic to Moscow from Samana, the Dominican Republic on Monday 7th March.

Subsequently, the same flight path was observed by Azur Air, which is accessing its markets in Central America and the Caribbean at Vnukovo International Airport and La Romana Airport in the Dominican Republic.

With the recent broadcast by ECASA the Cuban airport, and airline service company on Telegram that irrespective of the ongoing conflict between Russia and Ukraine, NordWind airlines will be continuing scheduled flight operations between Russia and Cuba with services offered to Cuban nationals.

This further points that, despite with recent announcement by Aeroflot to suspend its international operations, the Cuban nationals and residents of the island will be accepted on return flights from Russia, but on the outbound flight from Cuba, the priority will be given to the Russian tourists before accepting Cuban nationals.

Following these recent developments, NordWind in its official press release informed that the scheduled operations to Cuba will continue with flights operating on Wednesday and Saturday, connecting Moscow and Varadero, while flights to the tourist center of Cayo Coco from Moscow will continue to operate on Tuesdays and Fridays.

Ongoing airspace restrictions and sections will be affecting other Russian carriers like Royal Flight Airlines and Aeroflot, adding an average journey time to Cuba by one hour than its scheduled flight paths in the pre-war period.

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Ajinkya Gurav

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