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Greece Closes Airspace to All Russian Planes

Greece airspace Russian planes
Greece closed its airspace to Russian planes on Monday. Credit: Dmitry Zherdin, CC BY-SA 3.0/Wikpedia

Greece closed its airspace to all Russian planes on Monday following an EU-wide decision in response to the country’s invasion of Ukraine.

The Greek Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) issued an air directive (NOTAM) which will last for three months, valid starting on Monday February 28, 2022.

Greece closes airspace to all Russian aircraft, including private jets

The full announcement is as follows:

The Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) announces that an air directive (NOTAM) has been issued to ban Russian aircraft flights in the National Airspace of Greece. The aviation directive for the prohibition of the use of the National Airspace of Greece by Russian air carriers is applied after the decision of the European Union to close its airspace for the Russian Federation.

In particular, NOTAM provides the following:

  • Aircraft owned by Russia, Russian Airlines (AOC) or Russian control, including private jets, are prohibited from landing, taking off, entering and passing through the National Airspace of Greece.
  • The aviation directive excludes flights of humanitarian interest, hospital flights and flights for search and rescue purposes with the approval of the Greek government as well as all emergency aircraft flights.
  • The NOTAM will have a duration of three months and is already valid from today, Monday, 28 February 2022.

EU-wide ban on Russian planes

Late on Sunday Ursula von der Leyen, the President of the European Commission, announced that all EU countries had agreed to close their airspace to Russian planes.

“We are shutting down EU airspace for Russian-owned, Russian-registered or Russian-controlled aircraft,” she said. All such planes, “including the private jets of oligarchs,” will now be unable to land in, take off from or fly over any EU nation.

Russian planes have also been banned from UK and Canadian airspace.

Russia’s biggest airline, Aeroflot, said it would cancel all flights to European destinations until further notice in a retaliatory move on Sunday.

Ahead of the decision, European countries had been closing their airspace one by one.

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