RIGA, May 24. /TASS/. AirBaltic, Latvia’s flag carrier, has decided not to use Belarusian airspace when conducting flights following the emergency landing of a Ryanair plane in Minsk en route from Athens to Vilnius, the Baltic state’s Minister of Transport Talis Linkaits stated on Monday.
The Latvian transportation chief told Latvijas Radio that the incident with the Ryanair airliner is an extraordinary situation that undermines the security of flights in Belarusian airspace. "Our national company AirBaltic continuously keeps a close eye on the security situation in the airspace of different states. It has already decided not to use Belarusian airspace when operating its flights. The Latvian Civil Aviation Agency will also announce its recommendations," he said.
Linkaits also called on passengers to monitor the current situation with flights to and from Belarus on the Riga International Airport's website and on the websites of air carriers conducting similar flight routes.
A Ryanair plane bound for Vilnius from Athens made an emergency landing at Minsk’s international airport on Sunday after a reported bomb threat. The plane landed safely. No bomb was found inside. Roman Protasevich, one of the co-founders of the Nexta Telegram channel, which Minsk recognized as extremist, was among the passengers. Protasevich, currently living in Lithuania, is wanted in Belarus. The individual in question was detained once the plane had landed in the Belarusian capital. The plane took off from Minsk and continued on to Vilnius late on Sunday.