Russia gives green light for US airlines to overfly its airspace

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The government of Russia accepted the request made by Airlines for America (AAA) over securing a right for the carriers of the United States to overfly the Russian airspace.

On late October 28, 2021, the US Department of State (DOS) confirmed that the Russian government gave a green light for the U.S carriers to expand their air services and issued them a right to overfly the country‘s airspace. However, the DOS did not specify which airlines and how many flights will be affected by the decision.

“The Department of State continues to engage with the relevant Russian authorities to secure expanded air services opportunities for U.S. carriers,” was written in the DOS letter seen by the media.

At the beginning of October 2021, the American trade association AAA, which represents the interests of major U.S carriers such as United Airlines, Delta Air Lines, American Airlines (A1G) (AAL), FedEx Express, and others, asked the DOS to address the airlines’ needs to operate flights from the US to countries in Asia and the Middle East by crossing the Russian airspace. 

The AAA argued that in order to meet the increased passenger demand and secure their competitiveness globally, US airlines needed to secure particular approval from Russia. Otherwise, carriers would be forced to choose alternative longer routes. This would negatively affect their efficiency and could result in the loss of some slot rights.


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