Poland will close its airspace for all Russian airlines starting in the night from Friday to Saturday, the country announced on Friday afternoon.
This comes after the European Union announced a number of sanctions against Russia, including a ban on the export of aircraft to the country, but stopped short of banning Russian airlines from EU airspace.
“I have ordered the preparation of a resolution of the Council of Ministers which will lead to the closure of airspace over Poland to Russian airlines“, says Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki. In the evening, the Czech Republic and Bulgaria followed Poland in taking such steps against Russian airlines.
On Thursday, the government of the United Kingdom announced measures similar to those taken by Poland, banning aircraft of Russian operators from flying to the UK. In response, Russia banned British-registered aircraft from using its airspace. International Airlines Group (IAG), parent company of British Airways, says all five of its airlines will no longer fly through Russia.
The country launched a large scale military invasion on Ukraine on Thursday morning. The Russian military attempted to gain control of Hostomel Airport, home of Antonov, but apparently failed to hold on to its position.
Jakob Wert is an aviation journalist from Germany. He built up the website IFN.news and is the Editor-In-Chief of International Flight Network.