Russia denies its airspace for Icelandic airlines
Icelandic airlines are still not authorized to fly through the Russian airspace. This has been keeping WOW air and Icelandair from accessing East Asia. To cope with the ban, companies are now turning their attention towards India.
In June 2017, Skúli Mogensen, CEO of WOW Air announced his airline would soon offer flights towards Asia. Talks for the access to the Russian airspace started almost immediately - also in June 2017. Another attempt was made in fall of 2017, but the only outcome was Russia securing that each passenger travelling through its airspace would cost $100 for Icelandic airlines.
According to Icelandic travel media Turisti, the reason behind the stalled negotiations could be Iceland’s participation in the European Union economic sanctions on Russia that began following the Ukrainian crisis. And with Iceland calling for EU to boycott the FIFA World Cup, which is taking placein Russia in 2018, it seems unlikely that the situation will change soon.
But another solution presents itself to Icelandic companies. On May 15, 2018, the ultra-low cost carrier WOW Air announced opening a new route from Europe and United States to New Delhi due in winter 2018. The airline will make use of its new A330-900. If discussions with Russia take too much time for Icelandic airlines, India might be their gates to the whole Asian continent.
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