Restrictions on flights over Ukraine, Russia, Belarus and Moldova will remain until 2029, the European Organisation for the Safety of Air Navigation (Eurocontrol) has predicted in its 7-year forecast which was updated in recent weeks.

 The authors of the document note that even though the aviation industry continues to recover after the coronavirus pandemic, several factors are slowing down this process, particularly the Russian invasion of Ukraine, restrictions on domestic flights for environmental reasons, staff shortages at airports, and related strikes.

 “Restrictions in the Ukrainian, Russian, Belarusian, and Moldovan air space will remain in force until the end of the forecast horizon (2029),” the document says.

 The loss of Asian flows (due to the restriction to cross Russia’s airspace, applied by 37 countries) has significantly affected Northern Europe due to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. The war entailed a change of air routes.

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 However, the report notes that the forecast may change due to the influence of various factors, and higher inflation and greater uncertainty due to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine have become the key risks.

 “Further development of the conflict with major disruptions in the energy markets will lead to a greater blow to global economic expansion,” the report indicates.

 “The current forecast includes various economic forecasts, but further deterioration of the economic situation and geopolitical tension is a risk of its deterioration.”

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 Ukraine completely closed its airspace to civilian aircraft on February 24. Soon, EU and US countries closed their skies to Russian aircraft. Russia later retaliated.

 Screenshot of Active Flights over Europe from EUROCONTROL Live traffic at 1:13 pm on April 11, 2023

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