In a retaliatory move, Russia said it was closing its airspace to flights from Bulgaria, Poland and the Czech Republic in tit-for-tat punitive measures following Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine.
“Air carriers of these states and/or registered in them are subject to restrictions on flights to destinations on the territory of the Russian Federation, including transit flights through the airspace of the Russian Federation,” the federal air transport agency Rosaviation said on Saturday.
The measure is set to go into effect from 3 pm local time.
Several countries, including Bulgaria, Poland and the Czech Republic, have closed their airspace to Russian carriers.
Meanwhile, Estonia, Latvia and Slovenia on Saturday also said they would ban Russian flights.
“We invite all EU countries to do the same,” Estonian Prime Minister Kaja Kallas tweeted, adding, “There is no place for planes of the aggressor state in democratic skies”.
Slovenian Prime Minister Janez Jansa quoted Kallas’s tweet saying, “Slovenia will do the same”.
Latvian Transport Minister Talis Linkaits also said on Twitter that “Latvia will close its airspace to Russian-registered airlines for commercial flights,” adding that the decision would be formally approved at the next cabinet meeting.
The United Kingdom has banned Russian flagship carrier Aeroflot from flying over the UK.
Russia on Thursday had announced the closure of its airspace for civilian flights on the western border with Ukraine and Belarus, while Ukraine closed its airspace to civilian flights and Europe’s aviation regulator also warned against the hazards of flying in areas bordering Russia and Belarus.
The moves came after Russian President Vladimir Putin launched a full-scale military invasion of Ukraine days after recognising two rebel-controlled areas of the eastern Donbas region as independent entities.
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NEMA’s Lagos Territorial Office Coordinator, Ibrahim Farinloye who confirmed the crash, said rescue operations were ongoing.
He said details were still sketchy, adding that information would be provided as soon as they were available.
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Emirates airline suspends operations in Nigeria over $85m trapped funds
From September 1st, 2022, Emirates airlines will cease to operate flight operations in and out of Nigeria.
It could be recalled that Emirate airline had cut down on its weekly number of flights into Lagos from 11 to seven over US$85 million of funds awaiting repatriation from Nigeria.
The airline said the figure has been rising by more than $US10 million every month, as the ongoing operational costs of our 11 weekly flights to Lagos and 5 to Abuja continue to accumulate.
They, however, said that the trapped funds are urgently needed to meet operational costs and maintain the commercial viability of their services to Nigeria.
“We simply cannot continue to operate at the current level in the face of mounting losses, especially in the challenging post-COVID-19 climate. Emirates did try to stem the losses by proposing to pay for fuel in Nigeria in Naira, which would have at least reduced one element of our ongoing costs, however, this request was denied by the supplier,” the airline had said.
However, with no considerable improvement and headway in repatriating the trapped fund, the airline, on Thursday, announced the suspension of its operations in Nigeria indefinitely.
The statement reads, “Emirates has tried every avenue to address our ongoing challenges in repatriating funds from Nigeria, and we have made considerable efforts to initiate dialogue with the relevant authorities for their urgent intervention to help find a viable solution.
“Regrettably there has been no progress. Therefore, Emirates has taken the difficult decision to suspend all flights to and from Nigeria, effective 1st September 2022, to limit further losses and impact on our operational costs that continue to accumulate in the market.
“We sincerely regret the inconvenience caused to our customers, however, the circumstances are beyond our control at this stage. We will be working to help impacted customers make alternative travel arrangements wherever possible.”
“Should there be any positive developments in the coming days regarding Emirates’ blocked funds in Nigeria, we will of course re-evaluate our decision. We remain keen to serve Nigeria, and our operations provide much-needed connectivity for Nigerian travelers, providing access to trade and tourism opportunities to Dubai, and to our broader network of over 130 destinations.”
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