Canada stiffens its ban on Russian aircraft including humanitarian flights

Aerofloat. Credit: Wikimedia commons

Ottawa/IBNS: Canada’s federal government has reportedly tightened rules for Russian aircraft Canadian airspace late last month falsely claiming to be a humanitarian flight.

On Feb. 27 Aeroflot Flight 111 was allowed to traverse Canadian airspace en route from Miami to Moscow because it had registered as a humanitarian flight, despite Ottawa having banned all Russian aircraft earlier that day in retaliation for Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

Transport Canada’s head of civil aviation suggested on Monday that this was deliberately falsified.

Canada’s decision to close Canadian airspace to Russian flights did not include any exemptions for humanitarian flights, Transport Minister Omar Alghabra reportedly told committee members.

Although Alghabra reportedly acknowledged that as a result of Russia’s retaliatory closure of its own airspace to Canadian aircraft, Air Canada and other carriers are dealing with higher costs and longer routes to Asian destinations such as India and South Korea.

Nevertheless, Alghabra said Canada’s ban on Russian aircraft as part of its effort to punish Moscow over its decision to invade Ukraine is overwhelmingly supported by airlines and travelers.

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