Lithuanian Minister: European carriers should avoid using Belarusian airspace

Ryanair DELFI / Kiril Čachovskij

Lithuanian Minister of Transport and Communications Marius Skuodis addressed the ministers of transport of the EU urging them to ensure that all air transport carriers operating in the EU Member States avoid using Belarusian airspace, according to a press release from the ministry.

In his letter to his European colleagues, Marius Skuodis stated: “the issue of protecting EU citizens who are likely to cross Belarusian airspace is of vital importance and needs to be addressed as soon as possible.”

The Minister underlined that flights over Belarus are extremely challenging in terms of security and flight safety.

In his letter to all the EU transport ministers and to the European commissioner for transport Adina Valean the Minister states that Lithuania already appealed to the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) to initiate investigation with the view to clarify all circumstances of the incident and its impact on civil aviation operations in the region of Belarus. Lithuania also appealed to the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) that has already provided some guidance to the European air carriers.

The Minister urged his European counterparts to consider requesting all air carriers to avoid Belarusian airspace with the view to ensure the protection of European citizens.

He also informed that as of 25 May, Tuesday, Lithuania forbids all incoming or outgoing flight operations over the territory of Belarus.

All air carriers arriving in and departing from Lithuania were sent critical notices on Tuesday to inform them about the prohibition of arrivals in and departures from Lithuanian airports if the flight is operated through the Belarus airspace. This prohibition came into effect on Tuesday at 03:00 in the morning. If air carriers do not comply with this decision, flight plans will not be adjusted.

The obligation to avoid the territory of Belarus will affect 26 flights from and to Lithuania per day.

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