Washington intends to ban airlines from flying to the US via Russia
Washington is discussing a ban on foreign airlines flying through Russia to the United States. Now we are talking about Chinese air carriers, reports The New York Times, citing three sources.
Restrictions on flights through Russian airspace have previously been proposed in Congress for Indian companies. The White House, however, fears diplomatic repercussions.
State Department officials have asserted that the safety of American citizens in other countries is a key priority when developing restrictions. However, the industry lobby group Airlines for America expressed dissatisfaction with the uneven playing field. After the start of the war in Ukraine, American airlines faced the closure of Russian airspace and were forced to reroute in the Pacific, leading to increased fares and losses of up to $2 billion a year.
Lobbyists pointed out that Air India, Emirates, China Eastern Airlines and other carriers retained access to shorter and cheaper routes via Russia to the United States. At the same time, American airlines are forced to spend an hour or two more flying around Russia and offer more expensive tickets.
The imposition of a flight ban by Russia could seriously affect competition between airlines and become an additional source of tension in relations between the US, Russia and China. However, a decision has yet to be made and the White House is still examining the possible consequences.
The United States, along with the European Union and partner countries, closed the skies to Russian aircraft after the Russian invasion of Ukraine began. The ban applied to passenger, charter and scheduled flights. Russia has taken mirror measures and banned flights from more than 30 countries.