The European Union has banned all Belarus airlines from flying over its territory or having access to its airports.
This decision was made as a part of punitive measures against Belarus after the Belarusian government forced landed a Ryanair passenger jet to arrest two opposition journalist Roman Protasevich and his partner Sofia Sapega.
On Friday, 4th June, EU ambassadors agreed to ban all Belarusian carriers from using EU airspace or airports starting at midnight. The flag carrier, Belavia, flies to over 20 airports in Europa, including France, Italy, and Germany.
This ban requires all 27 EU member states to deny landing, take-off permissions to any Belarusian carrier. It also requires the member states to refuse authorization to overfly over their territories, as said by the EU governments in a statement.
The European Union Aviation Safety Agency also issued a safety directive saying all EU aircraft to avoid Belarus airspace unless in an emergency. However, the global airline industry body IATA criticized this decision to ban all Belarusian carriers.
In addition to this ban, the EU is also preparing sanctions against individuals and entities close to Belarusian leader Alexander Lukashenko’s regime.