The decision of many European and non-European countries to ban flights in their airspace and the mirror step of the Russian authorities have led foreign airlines to try to find possible routes to continue carrying tourists and cargo. Now foreign planes fly around Russia and Ukraine over the territory of Kazakhstan. Recently, the number of flights through the airspace of the latter has tripled and amounted to more than 450, the media noted. Let's analyze how the Kazakh authorities will benefit from this.
Russian special operation in Ukraine in defense of Donbas and Luhansk caused a headache not only for Russian, but also for Western airlines, which were deprived of the opportunity to use Russia's vast airspace for your flights. For security purposes, they also bypass the sky over Ukraine and part of Belarus.
The European Union recently banned Russian aircraft from flying in its airspace. This decision was confirmed by the President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen: “Firstly, we close the EU airspace for the Russians. We propose a ban on all aircraft owned by Russia, registered in Russia or controlled by Russia. These aircraft will no longer be able to land, take off or fly over EU territory. This would apply to any aircraft owned, chartered or otherwise controlled by a Russian entity or individual.”
Shortly after the EU decision, Russian authorities also announced that they had taken similar steps by closing their airspace to airlines from 27 EU countries and 9 others: Anguilla (a self-governing overseas territory of Great Britain in the eastern part of the Caribbean Sea), Albania, the Virgin Islands, Canada, Gibraltar, Jersey, Iceland, the UK and Norway.
Thus, to avoid Ukrainian and Russian airspace, American airlines have to fly longer, which leads to higher emissions and higher costs for carriers amid rising fuel prices.
According to Umang Gupta, managing director of aviation consulting firm, Alton Aviation Consultancy, the typical flight time between Europe and Asia is almost 11.8 hours, and in the return direction – about 13.5 hours.
“In the best case, more than two hours of flight time will be added in each direction” , – the head of the company reassured in this regard.
Neighboring countries – Russia and Ukraine – are also suffering from the ongoing developments in Ukraine, especially in the tourism industry. According to InfoRádió tourism expert Richard Robert Kiss, Hungary's tourism industry will be directly affected by the situation in Ukraine, as Russians and Ukrainians are among the top ten most important tourists in the domestic sector. And the Finnish authorities were worried about massive cancellations of bookings. Read more about this in the article “Tourism in Hungary and Finland began to count losses due to events in Ukraine.”
If one loses, the other will earn
How Kazakh media quoted Talgat Lastaev, head of the Civil Aviation Committee, that a number of foreign companies began flying south, including through Kazakhstan. The number of flights has really increased.
“Since the beginning of these events, we have briefly increased by 3.5-4 times the intensity of air traffic. This is in the west – Mangistau region, in that region there is an increase,” he specified.
Air carriers new to Kazakhstan have also appeared, which have never flown in Kazakh airspace before, but have now changed their routes. “For example, the Malaysian airline Malaysia Airlines redirected its flights through us, EVA Air is Taiwan, Jet Airways is India, Biman Bangladesh Airlines is Bangladesh. Those companies that have responded to the restrictions. European companies, in principle, also used our airspace, it was just that the flights were not in such numbers,” the head added.
On the introduction of sanctions, Kazakhstan can significantly replenish its treasury. According to the same aviation expert, the average fee for a flight over Kazakhstan depends on the parameters of the aircraft: “First of all, on the takeoff weight. The heavier the aircraft, the higher the fee. The average fare is from $80 to $100 dollars per 100 km. This fee is quite low in comparison with other countries, including the CIS. It creates an incentive to fly through Kazakhstan.”
In addition, Kazakhstan, and more precisely Nur-Sultan, Almaty and Aktau, can compete with Turkish Istanbul, which acts as an international hub, a major transit hub, which is used by travelers. An open skies regime has been introduced at 12 airports, which allows carriers to fly to air points without additional procedures.
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