From midnight on Saturday, Belarusian airlines cannot fly into the airspace of the European Union, nor have their planes taken off or landed from the airports of member countries. It is one of the punitive measures against Belarus decided on May 24 by the leaders of the countries of the Union in response to the hijacking of the Ryanair Athens-Vilnius flight ordered by President Alexander Lukashenko to arrest the opposition journalist Roman Protasevich.
The European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) also warned all European airlines on Wednesday not to fly into Belarusian airspace except in emergencies. The International Air Transport Association (IATA), an international organization that brings together hundreds of airlines from all over the world, has criticized this indication, which affects about 400 flights every day and makes air connections between Europe and Asia longer and more expensive, but for the European Union and NATO the hijacking ordered by Lukashenko was an act that cannot be tolerated.
The Belarusian state airline Belavia operates air connections with twenty different European airports, including some in Milan and Rome.