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Aviation bosses worried about Ukraine, Russia conflict


Morrison has today brought Australia in line with the UK and US in issuing a raft of sanctions against Russia, saying that Australia “stands up to bullies”. 

 

Should Russia want to retaliate against these sanctions, aviation experts warn the country can cut off access to its airspace. And these experts agree that the global impact on airline, passengers and cargo would be immediate.

 

 

“You fly much faster between Europe and the U.S. East Coast on one hand and Asia on the other hand if you fly through Russian air space," Elisabeth Braw, senior fellow at the American Enterprise Institute told the ABC Denver.

 

"[Denying access] is an extremely powerful weapon that the Russians could use if they wanted to."

 

Should Russia close its airspace, “additional hassle, which would translate into additional costs and yes, higher ticket prices for you and me, and higher consumer prices for the products that are transported via air cargo" would occur, Braw said.

 

Preparing for the worst, airlines and the leasing companies that control billions of dolllars' worth of passenger jets have been drawing up contingency plans for a freeze in business with Russia, Reuters reported. 

 

Experts say airlines face having to divert flights south (while still having to avoid areas of tension in the Middle East), a move which will add significant cost at a time when airlines are still left reeling from the pandemic.

 

Some suggested that routes will return to those taken during the Cold War which would see European jets heading over North America to refuel in Anchorage, then dropping down to destinations such as Tokyo.

 

“If there is an emergency, we have no choice but to avoid Russia and fly the southern route," Yuji Hirako, president and chief executive of All Nippon Airways Co Ltd said. 

 

"Since the demand for international flights is so low due to the coronavirus pandemic, we may choose not to fly in the event of an emergency."

 

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Published: 23 February 2022

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