WorldViews: What would happen if Russia closed its airspace to Western airlines?

By Rick Noack, September 8, 2014

With new European Union sanctions looming over Russia, the country has announced that it considered blocking international flights through its airspace. Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev referred to Western airlines in general, but in reality such restrictions would mainly hit European airlines which offer direct flights to Asia. The necessity to "bypass our airspace ... could drive many struggling airlines into bankruptcy," Medvedev was quoted as saying Monday in the Russian business newspaper Vedomosti.

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