The European Union has closed its airspace to the Turkish airline Southwind Airlines because of suspected links to Russia, the Turkish tourism news site Turizm Guncel reported on Saturday. The decision was prompted by sanctions imposed by the EU 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.

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.

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According to Turizm Guncel, Brussels introduced the measure under Regulation 833/2014, which covers EU sanctions against Russia over its actions in Ukraine.

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.

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Ukraine Will Have the Weapons it Needs!

Over the past month Ukraine’s partners have given Kyiv news on the issues President Zelensky described as “vitally important” that would significantly affect the course of the war with Russia.

The extension of airspace restrictions on airlines that have ties to Russia strengthens the EU’s sanctions regime and presents an unequivocal stance against those entities that try to mask their links with and indirectly support Russia's war efforts. This further isolates Russian carriers which have seen their aircraft seized and maintenance services denied internationally since February 2022.

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Comments (5)

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SAS
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By the same logic, the European Union should be banning Israeli airlines and ban all arms exports to Israel because the country is just massacring tens of thousands of innocent Palestinians. Picking on a Turkish airline linked to Russia is a sign of nitpicking while coddling the worst human rights abusers on the planet - the US and Israel.

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SAS
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What an utterly stupid and hypocritical decision.

If the European Union is so much opposed to illegal invasions, how come so many of its own member states participated in the illegal invasion of Iraq in 2003 ? How come US tourists and US airlines were not banned from the European Union when the US illegally invaded Iraq over a pack of lies back in 2003 ? Why are Israeli airlines free to fly to the EU during the Gaza genocide and why are EU states still selling arms to Israel to murder Palestinian civilians in the thousands ?

Could it be the EU imposes sanctions on Russia and not the US and its brutal ''ally'' Israel because it has one set of rules for one group of countries and a different set for another ? Hypocrisy and double standards are not the same as respecting human rights.

Turkey is justified in welcoming Russian tourists because Russian tourists are NOT responsible for the conduct of Putin.

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Jim Worrall
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Turkey is no friend of Ukraine. They are in bed with Russia. Turkey allows Russian warships access to the Black Sea and blocked access by British minesweepers.

Turkey bullies their neighbors Armenia, Greece, Cypress and Israel and continues to support rebellion in Cypress.

Turkey funds Hamas terrorists and hosts Hamas leaders. Turkey regularly threatens to attack Israel.

Let's not forget Turkey slaughtered 2 million Armenians and continues to allow Muslim terrorists to illegally sneek into Europe.

Turkey blackmailed Sweden and Finland from joining NATO and are not a reliable ally. Turkey should be expelled from NATO.

Istanbul is, or at least was, a European city. However, the remainder of Turkey is not at all European.

Maria Kackerova
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@Jim Worrall, I'm not so sure. The Turks know Russia is their mortal enemy, and Erdogan is no fool. But they are happy to take money off Russia in the meantime. There has been subtle help for Ukraine in terms of drone production. In the long-term Turkey stands to gain influence over the Turkic peoples of central Asia as Russia declines, but the dilemma is not to see Russia implode dramatically and China benefit instead.

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Dimitry Merdevedev
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Air Serbia is still shuttling back and forth several times a day between Belgrade and Minsk/Moscow flying over Hungary/Slovakia/Poland. That needs to end.

John
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@Dimitry Merdevedev, Agreed. Good observation on Serbia!

Also kudos for new NATO member Finland and also Cyprus for their sleuthing to reveal / stop yet another way our 'supposed ally turkey' helps putin break sanctions.

I greatly enjoyed past vacations in Turkey, but will not go back while their growingly duplicitous putin friendly leader remains at the helm. I know Erdogen doesn't care, but it makes me feel better spending only on the countries that share my values.

SAS
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@John, The US and Israel's human rights record is infinitely worse.

Maria Kackerova
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@SAS, So what? This page is about Ukraine

SAS
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@Maria Kackerova, No rule says we cannot mention the US and Israel.

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Polska🇺🇦💪
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Good , no orcs should be allowed out to put their feet on any free worlds soil, except to iran, n korea or hell.

The West is being Forced to Invade Russia
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@Polska🇺🇦💪, yep. They have no right.

Putler is kaput
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go home orcs .

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