air traffic over Turkey

Russia Finds Alternative Routes for Air Traffic

As a result of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, most of the European countries ban Russian carriers to use their airspace. As a result, Russian carriers stop flying to Europe. Russians find other routes to travel.

“With many routes to and from Russia effectively closed, owing to the imposition of sanctions following the invasion of Ukraine, we are seeing air travel via Serbia, Turkey, and the UAE surge by over 200% on pre-pandemic levels,” said Olivier Ponti, VP Insights, ForwardKeys.

“Looking at tickets issued between 28th February (when sanctions were put in place) and 8th March (the latest available data), the top hubs for people travelling from Russia to Europe were via Turkey, Serbia and UAE. The top destination countries in Europe for transfers via Turkey were Germany, Italy, the UK, Spain and Greece; via Serbia were Montenegro, Cyprus, France, Switzerland and Italy; via the UAE were Cyprus, Germany, the UK, Italy and France. Turkey and the UAE also served as hubs to connect Russia with the USA ! and some Asian destinations,” added Ponti.

Olivier continued: “Looking at scheduled flight capacity prior to the imposition of sanctions (during the week of 21stFebruary) compared to the latest available data (during the week of 7th March), there has been a 50% increase from Russia to Serbia a 12% increase to Turkey and a 5% increase to the UAE.”

While Russian travelers have to take connecting flights, the airline sector is taking a hit from record-high fuel prices. Moreover, bans to fly in and over the countries involved in the conflict, leading to traffic losses and lengthened long-haul routes. 

In the absence of flying over Russia, carriers with more southerly routes to Asia, such as Turkish Airlines and Etihad, could benefit in the short term, although general demand from Asia is yet to be meaningful, according to a report.

Turkish Airlines yesterday announced that the cancellation of flights to Sochi and Rostov in Russia, as well as the flights to Ukraine and Moldova, whose airspace was closed due to the war, have been extended until April 10. In addition, flights to Belarus were canceled until March 31.

Turkish Airlines also shared news for Romania. “The Covid-19 measures implemented in Romania have ended. There is no obligation to present a vaccination card or PCR test when entering Romania,” said the company’s social media post.

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