On Monday, the Swedish Transport Agency took a decision to discourage Swedish airlines from flying over Belarusian airspace. Later in the evening, European Union leaders urged that Belarusian airlines not be allowed into the European Union.
Despite this, on Tuesday, a plane landed from Minsk as scheduled in Ireland before returning. But the stopping is now a fact.
The Swedish Transport Agency announced, on Tuesday evening, the cancellation of the Belavia Airlines traffic permit, and that the company will not be allowed to operate any flights between Sweden and Belarus at the present time.
– It is a decision for preventive purposes. In the current situation, we do not see guaranteed safe traffic management. That is why we chose to act, says Gunnar Ljungberg, director of the freight and aviation division of the Swedish Transport Agency, in a press release.
‘Passenger safety is the most important’
On Sunday, Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko ordered a passenger plane en route to Lithuania to land in Minsk. On board the plane was the regime critic Roman Protasevic, who was arrested at the scene.
The Swedish Transport Agency is now recommending all affected passengers to contact their airline.
We are well aware that this can cause problems for travelers. But passenger safety is the most important and that is why we decided to pause the flights. We are following the developments of the security situation for civil aviation in Belarus and the region, says Gunnar Leungberg.