Air France among airlines suspending flights over Belarus as EU seeks to punish Minsk –

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Air France among airlines suspending flights over Belarus as EU seeks to punish Minsk – fr


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                Air France, Finnair et Singapore Airlines sont devenus les derniers transporteurs aériens à suspendre mardi leurs vols au-dessus de la Biélorussie après que Minsk a forcé un avion à atterrir pour arrêter un dissident. 
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                                    <p>Les annonces sont intervenues un jour après que les dirigeants de l'Union européenne ont exhorté les compagnies aériennes basées dans l'UE à éviter l'espace aérien biélorusse et ont interdit aux compagnies aériennes du pays de se retrouver dans le bloc des 27 pays.

Belarusian leader Alexander Lukashenko sparked international outrage by dispatching a fighter jet on Sunday to intercept a Ryanair flight from Athens to Vilnius carrying wanted journalist Roman Protasevich, 26, and his girlfriend Sofia Sapega.

Air France said in a statement that it had “taken note” of the conclusions of the European summit on Monday and had suspended flights over Belarus “until further notice”.

Planes already in flight will have their flight plans modified, the French company said.

Singapore Airlines was also redirecting flights “which are destined for Europe to avoid Belarusian airspace” and would continue to “closely monitor the situation,” a spokesperson said.

“The safety of our customers and our crews is our top priority,” a spokesperson told AFP.

Finnair said the next flight that will be affected by its decision to redirect the planes is the one heading to the Turkish coastal town of Gazipasa on Wednesday.

Scandinavian airline SAS, German Lufthansa and Latvian regional airline Air Baltic made similar announcements on Monday.

Britain also gave instructions to British planes to avoid Belarusian airspace while Ukraine decided to stop direct flights between the two countries and over Belarus.

Western leaders accused Belarusian authorities of essentially hijacking a European plane, while Minsk claimed to have reacted to secure the flight after receiving a bomb threat.

(AFP)

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