POLITICS & INSTITUTIONS - ECONOMY

Cargolux stopped flying over Belarus: Bettel



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Luxembourg’s prime minister said the country’s cargo airline has stopped using Belarussian airspace. Library picture: A Cargolux 747 freighter is seen at Riga’s international airport, 17 April 2020. Photo credit: Karolis Kavolelis / Shutterstock.com 

Cargolux has voluntarily stopped flying through Belarusian airspace, according to Luxembourg’s prime minister.

Xavier Bettel (DP) said the cargo carrier “decided itself, for the moment” not to fly over Belarus, 100,7 public radio quoted the PM as saying on 25 May.

Bettel was speaking after EU leaders called for a ban on European airlines using Belarusian airspace after a Ryanair flight was forcibly diverted to Minsk, and the journalist Roman Protasevich and his girlfriend were arrested before the airplane was allowed to depart.

Bettel said Luxembourg’s government had “recommended” that Cargolux avoid Belarus as the country “does not comply with international flight regulations” which “represents a danger to aircraft”, 100,7 reported.

Cargolux is one of Europe’s largest all-freight airlines. Several other airlines--including Air Baltic, Air France, Finnair, KLM, Lot, Lufthansa, SAS and Singapore Airlines—have similarly stopped entering Belarusian airspace, the AFP, BBC and Reuters have reported.

A Cargolux spokeswoman told Delano on Wednesday: “The decision of the EU, on the matter, is being actively managed by Cargolux and we do not expect any major disruption to our operations at this time.”

Luxair does not have any flights that go through Belarusian airspace.

Updated 26 May at 10:30am with Cargolux statement
Updated 26 May at 5pm to correct Cargolux destination information