United States Adds Russia Flight Ban

United States Adds Russia Flight Ban

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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.

The United States is banning Russian aircraft

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)
United Airlines can no longer fly over Russia enroute to India

Bottom line

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?

Conversations (36)
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  1. Indopithecus Guest

    The folks who think that Russia has no case in invading the Ukraine no doubt will agree that the US had no justification when it almost caused WW3 after the Soviets proposed to site nukes in Cuba. They also seem to be wilfully ignorant of the fact that the US agreed that NATO would not move an inch eastwards after Gorbachev agreed to dismantle the Warsaw Pact. The poor Ukrainians are pawns in a great game and Uncle Sam is right in there.

  2. pstm91 Diamond

    Everyone here seems to be focussing on the commercial aspect of this ban, but the major significant impact comes from the ban on the cargo side. No more parts, supplies, or any other imports to Russia via air. At this rate, Russia is going to have to become completely self-sufficient (plus some help from China), and that is going to set it back years, if not decades. Unfortunately, it's the average Russian person who will...

    Everyone here seems to be focussing on the commercial aspect of this ban, but the major significant impact comes from the ban on the cargo side. No more parts, supplies, or any other imports to Russia via air. At this rate, Russia is going to have to become completely self-sufficient (plus some help from China), and that is going to set it back years, if not decades. Unfortunately, it's the average Russian person who will be most impacted by this but the idea is that they will press for change in Gov't.

  3. DCharlie Guest

    America! First in following the brave!

  4. Hank Tarn Guest

    We should not be taking sides over this internal Soviet conflict.

    America has always been at its best when we have kept out of other countries own business and problems. And the Europeans do not like America, remember how they treated Trump so badly.

    I wish we had Trump still in the White House, instead of the warmongering Democrat Liberals.

    1. Ralph4878 Guest

      The only reason the United States became a wealthy superpower in the first place is because it did take sides (and, in WWII, it had to) in the first half of the 20th Century and because other countries rely on us for so much. Take that away and we become a backwater with nukes and oligarchs, like Russia, struggling for relevance and to feed our people.

    2. Mark Guest

      “Internal Soviet conflict”? Russia is invading a sovereign country.

    3. stogieguy7 Diamond

      You've got some things wrong here. First off, were Trump in office, Putin wouldn't have invaded Ukraine. And, if he had, Trump would not have "stayed out of it" because this is a threat to world security. There are some fights that you can't stay out of. My biggest criticism of Biden and the Euros is that they aren't doing enough. For one thing, STOP buying oil and gas from Putin. And we need to...

      You've got some things wrong here. First off, were Trump in office, Putin wouldn't have invaded Ukraine. And, if he had, Trump would not have "stayed out of it" because this is a threat to world security. There are some fights that you can't stay out of. My biggest criticism of Biden and the Euros is that they aren't doing enough. For one thing, STOP buying oil and gas from Putin. And we need to ditch this green new deal crap and ramp up our own as it was 2 years ago. That would cut off a vital revenue source for Russia and make more of a difference than banning Aeroflot from the skies over Alaska.

    4. Tim Dunn Diamond

      if only I could like your comment 1000 or more times

    5. David Diamond

      @stogieguy7

      Like it or not, oil is going to go away, either because of climate change or simply all the easy (read: economically feasible) oil being exhausted. The rest of the world will be going green, the tech will become valuable in the future. The only choice America has is whether it wants to be competitive in this new tech.

      The reliance on oil is why Russia even has any leverage over the EU in the first place.

    6. foo blah Guest

      oil is also going away because alternatives are getting less expensive every year. they’ve been less expensive for a while, especially when you consider the billions of dollars of tax and other subsidies oil gets every year. compared to a paltry few million that alternatives get.
      politicians certain know who butters their bread. lol!

    7. WillM New Member

      Whatever, Putin-bot. Trump would be on his knees in front of that dictator, whoring out American interests. And many of Americans LOVE Europe precisely because they "treated Trump so badly".

  5. RJ Guest

    Can Mexico be far behind? Aeroflot is still flying nonstop to Cancun. For those Russians trapped in North America, it's probably only fair to allow them this escape route.

    1. Scudder Diamond

      I don't have a whole lot of sympathy for bourgeois Russians, having grown fat and happy under Putin, if they lose their non-stop and have to reroute to a tripe-connect to get home.

    2. MS Guest

      Aeroflot has cancelled all Americas flights including to Cancun because it's near impossible to fly from there to Moscow avoid Canada and EU airspace. Russians still can route via Istanbul and UAE to get home, TK has a direct Cancun flight and many other routes from the region

    3. Jerry Diamond

      I was at CUN yesterday and the Nordwind flight to SVO was operating, but with a 10 hour delay. The SU flight showed as cancelled.

  6. D3kingg Guest

    No. Limited flights and or additional screening would seem more appropriate. Visa changes etc. We shouldn’t take this out on Russian people they don’t have anything to do with Putin. Also there is a large Russian community in NY so I don’t see any point in punishing them.

    1. Stuart Guest

      While I would agree with you under lesser circumstances this is entirely different. The Ukrainian people were given no choice in this matter and are being slaughtered. The only way to facilitate an end to this is to inflict pain on Russian citizens so as to get them to rise up and take leadership away from Putin. In fact, in a recent op/ed in the Post, it was seen as perhaps the only way to...

      While I would agree with you under lesser circumstances this is entirely different. The Ukrainian people were given no choice in this matter and are being slaughtered. The only way to facilitate an end to this is to inflict pain on Russian citizens so as to get them to rise up and take leadership away from Putin. In fact, in a recent op/ed in the Post, it was seen as perhaps the only way to end this madness from spiraling into a global war. If Russian citizens do not experience pain in this process they will remain complacent and go on with their daily lives. We are not putting a gun to their head. But we are making sure that their lives are going to be uprooted and changed forever unless they do more to stop Putin.

    2. Arie Guest

      That sounds good but doesnt work in practice. Take Iran for example, it's been under sanctions for 40 years and all it's done is strengthen the regime. Or how about North Korea, and the list goes on. Sanctions sound great and we can all beat our chests in pride thinking were doing the right thing, but they dont work for anyone but the politicians who argue for them.

    3. Stuart Guest

      @Arie. With the exception that there are not religious zealots running Russia like Iran. And most of the current generations there have no idea what they are missing with new BMW's and holidays in Dubai and Bodrum. The Russians do, at least those in the cities. Take these things away, along with luxury goods, and it will not sit well.

    4. Arie Guest

      Fair point and you may be on to something. Just that as of right now Russians can still fly to dubai, Macau, hong kong, and many other places

      Those who have money will not suffer, merely inconvenienced. Those without will feel the pinch.

      Also, overthrowing a government isnt a guarantee of a good result. Just look at Ukraine..

    5. Alan Gold

      Why about the Ukrainians in Donbas that have been slaughtered over the past 8 years? The west needs to stay out of this civil war unless they are willing to assist both sides rather than using western Ukraine in a proxy war against the US.
      When the US invaded Iraq on even less pretense than Russia invading Ukraine, the world remained quiet. Quit being hypocrites now!

    6. Scudder Diamond

      D3kingg - I'm not sure this is any real punishment to Russian immigrants. Are they really clamoring to get to the motherland any time soon?

    7. D3kingg Guest

      @Scudder

      What if an American needs to go see their Russian Grandmother in Moscow due to a medical emergency ? Or an American needs to close their corporate office in Russia ? What will be their options ? A 5 stop 3 day itinerary for $8,000 ?

    8. Stuart Guest

      Actually they can fly via Dubai on EK. or via any of the ME hubs. I have used DXB before on trips to Moscow from the U.S. and while it adds a few hours it's much more comfortable than Euro business class on the connection flight that is often 4 hours or more in those horrid seats. Matthew at LALF did a post on options for those who are either stuck in Moscow and want out or need to go there for some sort of emergency.

  7. Jesse Member

    I think the bans are pretty much useless, and don't really change anything. The responsible parties don't use commercial airlines, anyway. The bans just hurt the average person - Americans, Europeans and Russians alike. There are LOTS of Americans who have close relatives in Russia, and vice-versa. That includes myself, as my child lives with my ex in Russia. All this does is separate families and makes no real difference. I'll still get to Russia...

    I think the bans are pretty much useless, and don't really change anything. The responsible parties don't use commercial airlines, anyway. The bans just hurt the average person - Americans, Europeans and Russians alike. There are LOTS of Americans who have close relatives in Russia, and vice-versa. That includes myself, as my child lives with my ex in Russia. All this does is separate families and makes no real difference. I'll still get to Russia regularly, albeit much more expensively and much slower.

    1. VitaliU Member

      You have every right to think that but you are wrong. This and other measures SHOULD hurt regular Russians so that they refuse to serve in the military services, operate trains transporting troops, work on state TV, etc, etc. Russian citizens ARE responsible for the situation until they fix it.
      Good luck visiting and, more importantly, getting out of Russia next time you go there.

    2. Scudder Diamond

      VitaliU - I agree! At this point, enough Russians are awakening to Putin's lies that ignorance is no longer an excuse. The brave are speaking out, and the silent are making themselves guilty of being knowingly complacent.

    3. D3kingg Guest

      @VitaliU

      I don’t think the Russian soldiers have a choice. If they refused to fight there would be harsh consequences.
      We also don’t want to see discrimination or hate towards Russian Americans.

    4. Nick Guest

      The Russian soldiers may not have a choice. I guarantee you the Ukrainians don’t have a choice if they can live safely at home, check that, if they can live period.

    5. VitaliU Member

      They have a choice: kill Ukrainian civilians or refuse to do it. They can also surrender to the first Ukrainian they see.

    6. Nelson Guest

      @Jesse
      Do you remember MH17?? Surely you didn't had relatives or friends onboard.

    7. Steve Diamond

      I agree it makes no real difference at all and if anything all these sanctions do is further make China into an even stronger global superpower. If the US really wanted to stop Putin it would put troops in Ukraine tomorrow to force Putin to stop but it wont so lets just totally destory their economy and harm citizens of Russia so bad they have no choice but to increase their aggression. How do you...

      I agree it makes no real difference at all and if anything all these sanctions do is further make China into an even stronger global superpower. If the US really wanted to stop Putin it would put troops in Ukraine tomorrow to force Putin to stop but it wont so lets just totally destory their economy and harm citizens of Russia so bad they have no choice but to increase their aggression. How do you think Hitler rose to power. Germany was in such bad despair after WW1 it made it incredibly easy for the Nazis to take over. I expect the same thing to happen here with a new Russian China regime following this war.

    8. David Diamond

      @Steve

      Yes, direct military confrontation between the world's 2 largest nuclear powers, and dragging all of NATO's allies into the war while we're at it. That's surely not going to end catastrophically. And if the US, EU and Russia all mutually destroy each other, guess which manufacturing superpower is going to benefit?

      Thank goodness you're not anywhere near any political decision maker.

    9. Stuart Guest

      Perhaps, until Sabre drops Aeroflot (as one) and they have no ability to sell tickets or maintain any internal passenger operations. You have no idea who how Russian airlines are tied into the U.S. and Europe. Not to mention the ability for them to simply maintain their aircraft with parts they can no longer get.

      They will collapse in 30-60 days.

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VitaliU Member

You have every right to think that but you are wrong. This and other measures SHOULD hurt regular Russians so that they refuse to serve in the military services, operate trains transporting troops, work on state TV, etc, etc. Russian citizens ARE responsible for the situation until they fix it. Good luck visiting and, more importantly, getting out of Russia next time you go there.

7
Scudder Diamond

VitaliU - I agree! At this point, enough Russians are awakening to Putin's lies that ignorance is no longer an excuse. The brave are speaking out, and the silent are making themselves guilty of being knowingly complacent.

6
Stuart Guest

While I would agree with you under lesser circumstances this is entirely different. The Ukrainian people were given no choice in this matter and are being slaughtered. The only way to facilitate an end to this is to inflict pain on Russian citizens so as to get them to rise up and take leadership away from Putin. In fact, in a recent op/ed in the Post, it was seen as perhaps the only way to end this madness from spiraling into a global war. If Russian citizens do not experience pain in this process they will remain complacent and go on with their daily lives. We are not putting a gun to their head. But we are making sure that their lives are going to be uprooted and changed forever unless they do more to stop Putin.

5
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