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EU bans Southwind Airlines from its airspace

EU bans Southwind Airlines from its airspace | It was reported on Saturday by the Turkish tourism news site, Turizm Guncel, that the European Union has closed its airspace to the Turkish airline Southwind Airlines and an affiliated carrier Air Cairo, because of suspected links to Russia. This was driven by sanctions imposed by the European Union on Russia before and after the 2022 full-scale invasion of Ukraine.

Germany’s Bild said Finnish authorities were the first to initiate an investigation into Southwind after it had proposed a new route between Antalya to Helsinki. The Turkish-registered company was founded in April 2022, shortly after the war began. The investigation found that all three of its aircraft and a significant number of its employees were linked to the Nordwind Airline, which is owned by the Russian travel agency Pegas Touristik, which is also believed to be a shareholder in AirCairo.

As well as flights to Finland, Southwind Airlines planned to open routes from Turkey to Berlin, Dusseldorf and other German cities. The EU ban closes all European airspace to the airline.


According to Turizm Guncel, Brussels introduced the measure under Regulation 833/2014, which covers EU sanctions against Russia over its actions in Ukraine. The ban was apparently introduced so abruptly that Russian tourists, traveling Coral Travel and PEGAS Touristik, were about to fly from Sharm el-Sheikh on Air Cairo flight SM903 when it was grounded.

After a delay of almost 11 hours, during which time a new route that avoided EU airspace was planned and approved, the aircraft was allowed to depart.

According to the Russian ATOR travel site, Southwind’s flights between Russia, Belarus and Turkey continue to operate but, based on data produced by the Flight Radar 24 service, all aircraft now have to fly in an easterly direction, and skirt around the Black Sea to avoid entering EU territory. This adds additional flying time and costs for its flights from Antalya to and from Ufa, Yekaterinburg and Minsk.

According to some reports, the initiator of the EU ban and the first country to close its airspace to both Southwind and Air Cairo was the Republic of Cyprus. EU bans Southwind Airlines from its airspace

(Source: kyivpost)