While a bit behind other countries, the United States is finally adding a Russian flight ban.
President Biden announces Russian aircraft ban
During Tuesday night’s State of the Union, President Biden announced that the United States will ban Russian aircraft from its airspace. As he explained:
“Tonight I’m announcing that we will join our allies in closing off American airspace to all Russian flights, further isolating Russia and adding additional squeeze on their economy.”
So far dozens of other countries have already banned Russian airlines from their airspace, including the European Union and Canada. This doesn’t just apply for flights with a destination in these countries, but even applies to the ability to fly over these countries. This has made it challenging for Russian airlines to operate flights to many destinations.
As you may have guessed, Putin has made most of these bans reciprocal, meaning that countries banning Russia from their airspace are also being banned from Russian airspace. I’d expect the same to be true for the United States.
What are the implications of this flight ban?
What’s the significance of this flight ban?
- Russian airlines flying to the United States (in particular Aeroflot) have already largely suspended service, given that flying to the United States without using Canadian or European Union airspace is challenging
- More significant perhaps is that private Russian aircraft can’t fly to the United States; then again, if you’re a Russian billionaire, you could get around this by simply flying to another country and then taking a non-Russian private jet from there
- Since Russia will no doubt make this reciprocal, an equally big implication is that US airlines won’t be able to use Russian airspace; until yesterday, United Airlines was using Russian airspace for its flights to India (which was controversial)
The United States will be introducing a new ban on aircraft from Russia. This follows dozens of countries introducing similar bans in the past few days. You can expect that Russia will almost certainly make this reciprocal, as that has happened with all countries up until now.
It’s going to be interesting to see how long all of these bans last, since widespread airspace restrictions will radically alter global aviation.
What do you make of the US banning Russian aircraft?