These days, authorities in Russia are seriously considering the prospect of imposing an airspace ban against all European airlines that fly above the country, using Trans Siberian air route.
On Tuesday, Vedomosti Daily reported Russia was considering limiting, or even completely blocking European flights to Asia that cross Siberia, in response to EU sanctions that caused Aeroflot subsidiary Dobrolet to suspend flights on Monday.
It all started in 1970, when air companies from Europe started to pay Aeroflot (then USSR's corporation), to be able to make their journey 4,000 kilometers (almost 2,500 miles) shorter, and to save 30,000 dollars per flight.
If the ban goes through, European companies would have to find new routes around Russian territories, which will cost a fortune not only to the airlines, but also to ordinary travelers as well. Tran Siberian route is used by companies around EU to shorten flights from Europe to Asia. Using other routes makes trips, for example from Berlin to Tokyo, about two hours longer. Flying over Russian territories reduces not only the time of travel, but also ticket prices, and the total expenses for fuel as well. It will also affect paychecks of everyone working on a plane. Now they will have to get paid more for the longer hours of work, obviously.
The companies that are under danger of loosing millions of dollars are Lufthansa, British Airways, Air France, and many others
This idea of closing the airspace seems like one of those crazy ideas that always stays on the paper. You don't have to be a great politician to understand how badly this sanction can turn out for the Russian Federation itself. First of all, any airline, that crosses Russian airspace, is obligated to pay the government a lot of money to be able to do so. Only from European airlines Russia get about one-third of a billion dollars each year.
Secondly, this ban just one more proof of how illogically and irrationally Russia might react on sanctions imposed on it. Just think about it -- it's own company, Aeroflot might loose about 300 million dollars each year it gets from transit companies.
If the government decides to move forward with this idea, the game of sanctioning each other might never end. Sometimes it reminds me of mean children in the kindergarten. You broke my toy -- I'll break yours.
Every day, with every new law, Russia comes closer and closer to a new level of isolation, which is not any good for the country and for the people who live in it. Even though many of them are curtain, thanks to the Kremlin propaganda machine, that everything is absolutely fine, and " We are the strongest nation of them all."
This situation is a bight example of how we all are connected, all economic systems of the world are depending on each other, and by doing just one little mistake it is possible to crash everything as a domino.