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German aviation worried about possible ban on transit flights in Russia

August 06, 2014, 14:16 UTC+3 BERLIN
Die Welt daily said that Lufthansa, British Airways, Air France would incur serious losses as flight along the so-called Transsiberian route was several thousand kilometres shorter than other options
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© EPA/WOLFGANG KUMM

BERLIN, August 06. /ITAR-TASS/. German Aviation Association (BDL) including German major air carriers Lufthansa and Air Berlin is concerned about reported possible restrictions or even ban of European transit flights through Russia, BDL press officer Sandra Kube said on Wednesday.

Kube declined to give further comments saying the plans had not been officially confirmed and any statements on possible financial consequences would be a pure speculation.

BDL had not calculated costs of flights to Asia bypassing the Russian airspace, she said, adding choice of the route would depend on the final destination.

Meanwhile, Die Welt daily said on Wednesday that Lufthansa, British Airways or Air France would incur serious losses as flight along the so-called Transsiberian route was several thousand kilometres shorter than other options.

A source familiar with the process earlier told ITAR-TASS Russian aviation authorities might stop some European charter flights and revise Transsiberian flight routes following EU sanctions on Russian air carrier Dobrolyot.

The authorities could also revise Transsiberian flight routes in Russia’s airspace, which would increase flight time and, accordingly, air carriers’ costs due to fuel and salary spending, the source added. European airlines will thus underperform their Asian competitors.

According to the source, the current tensions can freeze the negotiating process about modernization of the existing system of Transsiberian routes.

The aviation authorities also considered closing airspace for Ukrainian carriers’ transit flights, the source added. The Ministry of Transport confirmed the measures were on the table according to Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev’s instruction on Tuesday.

Aeroflot’s 100% subsidiary Dobrolyot operating flights to Crimea suspended flights on August 4 affected by the EU sanctions.

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