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Russia confirms new route for Air France flights to Moscow, avoiding Belarus airspace

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Russia has approved a new route for Air France flights between Paris and Moscow avoiding Belarusian airspace, initially just for this weekend, a spokesman for the French airline said on Saturday.

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The European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) has advised domestic and foreign airlines to avoid Belarusian air space this week following the forced landing in Minsk of a Ryanair jet en route to Lithuania from Greece, and the arrest of a dissident journalist on board, on May 23.

“This new flight path enters into application today. We have authorizations for this weekend and are awaiting a green light from Russian authorities for our flights after this weekend,” the Air France spokesman said.

Air France, which is part of the wider Air France-KLM group, operates one or two flights a day between Paris and Moscow.

A spokeswoman for Lufthansa, Germany’s biggest airline, said it had been given approval for the new routes on its flights from Frankfurt to Moscow and St Petersburg for the foreseeable future.

Lufthansa currently operates four return flights from Frankfurt to Moscow and three return flights from Frankfurt to St Petersburg per week.

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