Russia Still Considering Ban on Western Flights

In response to sanctions imposed by the European Union, the United States and other countries, Russia has announced its own ban on western imports, the New York Times is reporting.

Significantly for international travelers, the country is, as of Thursday, "still considering" other possible measures involving aviation, including a ban on flights over Siberia, which would affect routes used by European and American airlines that fly to Asia. Following the crash of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 in Ukraine last month, carriers around the globe have already rerouted flights to avoid airspace over the areas in conflict, and the possibility of adapting flights to avoid Russia would affect many airlines' schedules and ticket prices.

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However, many international carriers already have experience handling restrictions like these: In the Soviet era, all Western airlines were barred from flying across Russia, so old pathways could, at least in theory, be used again.

Russian Prime Minister Dmitri Medvedev also said that narrowing the air corridors open to Western carriers was another possibility, and announced that all Ukrainian air carriers were barred from transiting Russian air space — effectively ending many flights to former Soviet republics from Kiev, as the Times noted.