Dozens of airlines avoiding Russian airspace adding up to four hours to flights

March 13, 2022
Russian Airspace
Finnair's A350. Photo: Finnair.

According to Flightradar24 at least 21 airlines have re-routed flights around Russian airspace adding hours to some flights.

Routes between Europe and Asia have been most affected says Flightradar 24 as airlines have either re-routed around Russian airspace adding time and distance to their flights or canceling flights.

It says that “most airlines with flights between Europe and Asia have shifted their flights south to avoid Russian airspace. Instead of heading east through Russia and then south to destinations in Japan, South Korea, China, and elsewhere in Southeast Asia, flights now first travel south to cross via Turkey, Central Asia, China, and Mongolia.”

Traveling eastbound, this new route adds approximately one hour of flying time. On the return trip, flights can now take up to three hours longer Flightradar 24 says.

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For instance, Japan Airlines’ flight 43 (below) between Tokyo and London averaged 12 hours 12 minutes when traveling over Russia. Flightradar 24 says for the new route over Alaska, Canada, Greenland, and Iceland the flight time now averages 14 hours 38 minutes.

Finnair also has a similar problem, Its Helsinki to Tokyo flight (below) used to take 8 hours 57 minutes from Europe to Japan but now it takes another four hours.

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