Japanese airlines working hard to keep European corridors open

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Avoiding Russian airspace is continuing to cause operational headaches for Japanese airlines’ Western Europe flights. Just as they were gaining momentum in restoring services, the Ukraine crisis has prompted them to alter or suspend their European routes.

Most international airlines are choosing to adjust flight paths so they do not cross Russian territory or the Ukrainian conflict area. This includes Asia-Pacific airlines that fly to Europe: most affected those in north Asia – particularly Japan and South Korea – as Russia and Ukraine lie between them and Western Europe.

For Japan Airlines (JAL) and All Nippon Airways (ANA) this has meant that many of their routes to Western Europe were no longer viable, and were suspended in early Mar-2022. For those flights still operating, it meant adding up to 3-4 hours onto flight times due to reroutings.

After several weeks to adjust to the new environment in some cases they have now arranged different flight paths that allow them to fly more efficiently while still avoiding Russian airspace.

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