Tuesday, June 28, 2022
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Putin taunts Europe as Russian Aeroflot plane violates sanctions to land in Budapest


The Airbus A321 took off from Moscow’s Sheremetyevo International Airport at 7:33 am and landed at Budapest’s Ferenc Liszt International Airport at 10:11 am. Data on Flight Radar 24 showed the aircraft registered as VP-BKJ had travelled for 2 hours and 31 minutes covering the nearly 1,000 miles between the two hubs.

Upon leaving Moscow, the flight crossed into the airspace of Belarus, Poland and Slovakia before touching down in Hungary.

Russian airlines are facing an almost complete blockade from flying west over Europe after they were barred from the airspace of nearly 30 countries following the invasion of Ukraine.

On Sunday, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen stated European Union members would block Aeroflot from using its airspace.

Today’s flight to Bucharest appears to be a blatant violation of the sanctions imposed by both sovereign nations and the EU.

Aeroflot is not alone in being sanctioned by various entities.

Sabre, one of the largest airline ticket booking companies in the world, is terminating its distribution agreement with Russian air carrier Aeroflot, the company announced Thursday.

The move could further restrict Russian air travel, which has already seen its planes banned from most Western countries’ airspace.

Being shut out of online booking software will also make it difficult for the airline to operate domestically.

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A statement from the CEO of the company, Sean Menke said: “Sabre has been monitoring the evolving situation in Ukraine with increasing concern.

“From the beginning, our primary focus has been the safety of our team members in the impacted region, as well as doing our part to support the much-needed relief efforts.

“We are taking a stand against this military conflict.

“We are complying and will continue to comply, with sanctions imposed against Russia.

“In addition, today we announced Sabre has terminated its distribution agreement with Aeroflot, removing its content from our GDS.”

In line with multiple efforts to provide aid to Ukraine, Sabre is also donating $1 million to the Polish Red Cross to support relief efforts, as high numbers of Ukrainian refugees continue to stream across the border.

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Reports from the UN already reveal over 1 million Ukrainians have fled the country since the Russian invasion.

The ban on Aeroflot has stretched further than the boundaries of Europe.
As of 9:00 pm on Wednesday, all Russian aircraft was banned from entering US airspace.

According to a statement from the US Department of Transportation, the order prohibits all passenger, cargo and charter flights on “all aircraft owned, certified, operated, registered, chartered, leased, or controlled by, for, or for the benefit of, a person who is a citizen of Russia.”

Any aircraft operators who violate the ban on entering US airspace “may be intercepted, and their pilots and other crewmembers detained and interviewed by law enforcement or security personnel, as appropriate.”

Aeroflot enjoyed flights operating to Miami, Los Angeles, New York and Washington DC.

HOW IS AEROFLOT STILL FLYING TO EUROPEAN COUNTRIES? SHOULD THERE BE A GLOBAL BAN ON AEROFLOT FLIGHTS? SHOULD RUSSIAN CIVILIAN TRAVEL BE SANCTIONED AT ALL? HAVE YOUR SAY ON THESE PRESSING QUESTIONS BY CLICKING HERE AND JOINING THE DEBATE IN OUR COMMENTS SECTION – EVERY VOICE MATTERS!

An Aeroflot flight from Miami to Moscow on Sunday violated Canada’s ban on Russian overflights. Canadian air traffic control authorities told Reuters Aeroflot had declared the flight as a “humanitarian” mission.

Various shipping companies have also banned trade with Russia.

Maersk and MSC are among various global companies taking action against Russian shipping routes, however, exceptions are in place.

Humanitarian aid, medical supplies and food are exempt from the sanctions.

Flight Radar 24 currently shows numerous flights to European countries as still being scheduled.

Paris, Munich and Berlin are still shown as being active this evening, as well as longer flights to New York, Tokyo and Los Angeles still presumed to go ahead on the departure board.



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