After the forced suspension, Ryanair did not dare to criticize Belarus
The Ryanair flight was forced to land in Belarus on Sunday on a flight from Athens to Vilnius. The airline reacts – but does not dare to criticize Belarus.
eIt lasted a good half day. Then the Irish low-cost airline Ryanair issued an announcement about FR4978. This will drop in aviation history in the passenger safety on-board section. Really want it Boeing Ryanair will fly from Athens to Latvia on Sunday and will only cross Belarusian airspace. However, according to Ryanair, the crew was “informed of the security threat on board the ship by Belarusian air traffic control and instructed to fly to the nearest airport, Minsk.”
In communications, Minsk may not actually be the nearest airport, but there is not a word about the fact that Vilnius – and a fighter plane took a Ryanair plane and put pressure on the pilots. They only sent code 7700 for air emergency – whatever it was in detail.
According to consensus reports from Belarusian opposition circles, the main objective of President Alexander Lukashenko’s move was to expel journalist Roman Protasevich from the plane during an alternative landing.
In the past occasional planes were not allowed to cross the airspace or were forced to land due to undesirable passengers on board. In 2013, when Bolivian President Evo Morales was forced to land on a commercial jet in Vienna on suspicion that former US Secret Service agent Edward Snowden was on board, France, Italy, Spain and Portugal refused to fly above. The assumption is wrong.
There was also the incident 50 years ago when warplanes from Libya took off a plane carrying two Sudanese revolutionary fighters who forced a British passenger plane to land in the country.
The Belarusian move now highlights the rights and who is on the plane. According to industry blogs, lists of travelers’ names continue to be shared with US authorities, even in high-light US territory. There are already too many diversions. The campaign in Belarus, including the Fighter Jet Escort, is unique in recent aviation history.
Ryanair, a low-cost carrier, said the incident on FR4978 had been “reported to responsible national and European security officials” and regretted the flight delay. However, there is no detailed information on the course of action or even criticism of Belarus.
After a forced stop in Minsk, the Ryanair flight arrived in Lithuania a few hours late on Sunday evening. Dozens of Belarusian protesters gathered at the airport in Vilnius. Some had signs, one of which said: “Ryaner, where is Roman?”
On Sunday, there were discussions about whether European airlines should continue to fly in Belarusian airspace. The Lufthansa According to a spokesman, at least no restrictions are currently in place. A flight from Frankfurt to Minsk is scheduled for this Monday. As before, over flights will happen.