The impact of the Russia-Ukraine war on aviation
Since Russia began invading Ukraine toward the end of February, the world has been sent in shock over the extent of the damage. Every corner of the world has been keen to persecute Russia as much as possible by removing their sports teams from European and international competitions as well as removing stores such as McDonalds and Starbucks from Russian cities. However, countries have also imposed a host of sanctions aimed at Russia's aviation and travel industry.
To start, countries have banned their airlines from operating flights to Russia, as well as Russian airlines flying into their airports or over their airspace. As another consequence of the war, Ukrainian airspace has also been closed off considering the high risk that is posed by military activity, prompting rather radical changes to the flight plans for some routes. For Ukraine International Airlines, the radical changes have included grounding all their aircraft and suspending operations for the foreseeable future.
Another major impact for Russia, which has not been mentioned enough, is that they have now been banned from receiving parts and service for their Airbus and Boeing fleet. This is a situation eerily similar to that of North Korea in 2017, when they were also banned along the same premises following a ballistic missile launch that saw the warhead fly over Japan and land off its coast.
Also, the state aviation authority for Russia recommended airlines to not fly their foreign-leased planes, as they could end up potentially getting seized outside of Russian airspace. This is a tough task, as 777 of the 980 commercial jets operating for Russian airlines are leased from companies such as AerCap and AirLease.
These sanctions have hit Russian aviation and tourism like a truck, as not only will very few people be able to enter or leave Russia because of so few flights, but other airlines have to pay the price of higher oil prices as well as longer flights due to rescheduling, which means higher ticket fares or transport costs.
It is unclear what will happen if a ceasefire agreement is reached, or if and when the war will end altogether. However, one thing is for certain: as long as Russia keep invading Ukraine, these sanctions will still continue. My thoughts and prayers go out to all the Ukrainians currently battling for their lives, and hopefully normalcy will be achieved sooner or later.