Published on : Wednesday, July 3, 2019
At least three Russian airlines have cancelled most of their Tuesday flights to the Czech Republic over what they said was the decision of the country to revoke flight permissions to and from Prague. The flagship carrier Aeroflot and Ural Airlines are the only Russian airlines that perform direct flights to and from Prague. Czech Airlines performs return flights to and from Moscow twice a day.
The ministry said it took action after Russia limited the right of national carrier Czech Airlines to use routes across Siberia on its flights from Prague to Seoul.
The ministry said however that following a Russian decision early on Tuesday to grant temporary access to the transit routes until July 7, it would also authorize Russian carriers’ flights to the Czech Republic until that date to provide time for negotiations.
Czech Airlines parent Smartwings said in a statement that access to the Siberian routes was anchored in a inter-government agreement.
It said Russia’s actions were unprecedented and were “threatening our business interests on the Prague-Seoul connection”.
The Transport Ministry of Russia said talks were under way between Russian and Czech aviation authorities and it expected the issue to be resolved quickly.
Aeroflot said it had been forced to cancel flights SU2010/2011, SU2014/2015, SU2016/2017 and SU2018/2019 despite being ready to fly, but that two others would fly as normal.
Russian budget airline Pobeda said it had canceled two bi-weekly flights to the spa town of Karlovy Vary.
Ural Airlines suspended all flights between the Czech Republic and the city of Yekaterinburg and Zhukovsky international airport near Moscow.
Later, the general director of Ural Airlines said it had obtained permits for flights from Yekaterinburg and that those would fly as normal.
The Prague Airport said on its website that as of 0930 GMT, four flights from Moscow and one from Zhukovsky scheduled for Tuesday were canceled. One flight from and one to Seoul scheduled for Tuesday were scheduled.