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What do Russia flight bans mean for international travel from Denmark?

Denmark has banned Russian aircraft from entering its airspace in response to Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine, while Russia has reciprocated the ban against Denmark and a long list of other countries.

Aircraft at Copenhagen airport
Aircraft at Copenhagen airport. Some international routes will take longer following the closure of Russian airspace to aircraft from the EU. Photo: Mads Claus Rasmussen/Ritzau Scanpix

Denmark closed its airspace off to Russian aircraft in response to the latter country’s illegal invasion of Ukraine in a decision confirmed by Foreign Minister Jeppe Kofod on Sunday.

For Danes and residents of Denmark, that could cause difficulties travelling to and from Russia, given that Russia on Monday reciprocated European countries’ flight bans by blocking aircraft from 36 countries, including Denmark and the entire EU as well as the UK, from entering its airspace.

The Russian decision came after the EU – not just Denmark – had forbidden Russian planes from using its airspace.

Aircraft from the following countries and territories are now banned from entering Russia:

Albania, Anguilla, Austria, Belgium, British Virgin Islands, Bulgaria, Canada, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark (including Greenland and Faroe Islands), Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Gibraltar, Greece, Hungary, Netherlands, Ireland, Iceland, Italy, Jersey, Croatia, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, United Kingdom, Sweden.

The bans make travelling between the two countries by air impossible without rerouting through a third country which is unaffected by the decisions.

This means that longer routes will be required for travel from Denmark to some international destinations, particularly in East Asia.

Other routes from northern Europe most likely to be affected are those to the Middle East, India, Thailand and Australia.

“(Airlines) might need extra fuel or maybe won’t be able to operate the service without a stopover,” Paul Hulme Harrison, deputy chair with the Danish Engineers’ Association’s (Ingeniørforeningen) aviation society, told news wire Ritzau.

The Danish Chamber of Commerce (Dansk Erhverv) said that it expects the closure of Russian airspace to result in cancellations on direct routes between the EU and countries such as China, Japan and South Korea.

“That means that passengers from Europe will have to take a significantly longer reroute with more stops if they are going to the Far East, for example,” Jesper Kronborg, director of the organisation’s transport sector, told Ritzau in a written comment.

READ ALSO: Danish shipping giant Maersk to stop deliveries to Russian ports

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TRAVEL NEWS

Copenhagen Airport passengers warned of more queues on holiday weekends

Long queues were reported at Copenhagen Airport during last week’s extended public holiday weekend and similar issues are likely during two more upcoming holidays.

Copenhagen Airport passengers warned of more queues on holiday weekends

Staff shortages at security checks, caused by a lengthy rehiring process following the Covid-19 crisis, have been blamed for crowds and long queues at Copenhagen Airport during peak times this spring.

Long waiting times at security were reported both Thursday and Sunday at Copenhagen Airport, resulting in a significant number of passengers missing flights, broadcaster DR writes.

The airport’s commercial director Peter Krogsgaard told DR that Copenhagen is not alone in experiencing problems with queues.

“Copenhagen Airport and all airports in Europe have had a lot to do in re-hiring and training many employees after corona,” Krogsgaard said.

“We are therefore seeing that, now passengers are coming back and fortunately want to travel again, we are under a bit of pressure to begin with,” he said.

This means that passengers planning to travel during two more upcoming peak times – the public holidays on Ascension Day (Thursday May 26th) and Pentecost (Monday June 6th) – should brace themselves for lengthy queues at the airport.

Up to 70,000 passengers are expected during the first of the two public holidays, according to Copenhagen Airport.

“We expect to be very busy and are therefore advising all passengers travelling within Europe to arrive two hours before their flight. If you are going to outside of Europe, to the Unites States or Asia, you should come three hours before,” Krogsgaard told DR.

Passengers have few options should they miss flights due to long waits at security, a consumer rights consultant said to DR.

“You are in a very bad situation if you get to the airport too late in relation to the waiting times there actually are at security, because it’s your own responsibility to get to the airport in time to make the flight,” Vagn Jelsøe, senior consultant with the Danish Consumer Council (Forbrugerrådet Tænk), said to DR.

The airport expects to be fully staffed by the beginning of June, DR reports.

“Since January, we’ve done nothing other than hire a lot of new people and they must be trained and educated, and it takes some time for them to get to the security lanes,” Krogsgaard also said.

Airline SAS last week said it would cancel around 4,000 flights over the summer. The decision was made due to staff shortages combined with delayed deliveries of new aeroplanes, SAS said.

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