After several flights already had to be canceled the previous week between Paris-Charles de Gaulle Airport (CDG) and Moscow-Sheremetyevo Airport (SVO), two Air France flights, namely AF1154 and AF1654, were postponed as they lacked the authorization from Russia to enter its airspace.
The European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) and the European Council asked their airlines to avoid the overflight of Belarus following the diversion of Ryanair flight FR4978 and the arrest of journalist Roman Protasevich and his partner Sofia Sapega on May 23, 2021.
Air France was among the first carriers to announce it would comply with the “conclusions of the European Council.” As a consequence, flight AF1154 from Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport (CDG) to Moscow Sheremetyevo Airport (SVO) had to be canceled for three days, officially for “operational reasons.”
To follow a new flight plan that bypasses Belarus, Air France had to receive new authorizations from Russia to enter its territory.
The latest cancellations may come as a surprise, as everything seemed to have been settled. Air France, as well as Austrian Airlines and Lufthansa (LHAB) (LHA) who faced the same situation, reported receiving the green light from the Russian air regulator Rossaviatsia over the weekend.
However, at the time, a spokesperson for the French national carrier did mention in a statement that it was still “awaiting an answer from the authorities” for their flights beyond the weekend.
Flight AF1154 was carried out on June 1, 2021. As for flight AF1654, it is still scheduled for June 3, 2021.