By John Ikani
More countries across Europe have announced they will ban Russian airlines and Russian-registered aircraft from their respective airspaces as the Russian invasion of Ukraine continues.
Estonia, Latvia, Slovenia and Romania said on Saturday that they were banning some flights from Russia.
“We invite all EU countries to do the same. There is no place for planes of the aggressor state in democratic skies. #StandWithUkraine,” Estonian Prime Minister Kaja Kallas tweeted on Saturday.
Russia earlier said it would close its airspace to flights from Bulgaria, Poland and the Czech Republic after they issued a ban on Russian jets.
Meanwhile, Russian-owned planes can no longer enter UK airspace.
The UK and Moldova previously closed their airspace to Russian airlines following its attack on Ukraine.
The restriction on Russian flights over large swathes of eastern Europe will require Russian airlines to take circuitous routes.
One Aeroflot flight from Moscow to Budapest on Saturday logged a flight time about 75 minutes longer than usual, according to the Flightradar24 tracking website, with a route avoiding Poland.
Virgin Atlantic said avoiding Russia would add between 15 minutes and an hour to its flights between the UK and India and Pakistan.
Commercial airlines are also avoiding airspace around Ukraine, Moldova and Belarus following Russia’s invasion.
In the United States, Delta Air Lines said it would suspend a code-sharing agreement with Russia’s Aeroflot.