Passengers scheduled to fly between Europa and Asia on non-Gulf airlines should be prepared for longer flights and cancellations, as the Russian airspace often used for these flights is either closed for them or airlines has decided not to use it.
Finnair has communicated that it continues select flights to Asia while temporarily canceling others. KLM has decided to cancel all flights that use Russian airspace for seven days.
Announcement from Finnair:
Finnair anticipates airspace closure and cancels partly its flights to Asia and flights to Moscow and St Petersburg for one week
Finnair joins many other European airlines and suspends its flights in Russian airspace for one week. With this action, Finnair prepares for the possible upcoming regulatory changes.
Finnair cancels its passenger and/or cargo flights to Seoul, Osaka, Tokyo, Shanghai and Guangzhou in Asia and to Moscow and St Petersburg in Russia between 28 February and 6 March. Flights to Hongkong were cancelled until the end of March already earlier.
Finnair continues to operate passenger and/or cargo flights to Bangkok, Phuket, Singapore and Delhi but reroutes the flights to avoid Russian airspace. This lengthens the flight times by approximately one hour. Finnair flies to Bangkok and Phuket also from Stockholm Arlanda in addition to Helsinki.
Finnair communicates flight cancellations directly to customers who have bookings on the cancelled flights and does its best to reroute customers to their destinations on other flights. Customers can also apply for a full refund for the unused ticket. In addition, Finnair has made changes to its refund policy. Customers can cancel their flight and apply for a refund if they have a flight to South Korea, Japan or China between 27 February and 13 March. A full refund is possible for flights to Russia for the time being.
The decision on Russian airspace usage after March 6 will be made later as the possible regulatory changes clarify.
Announcement from KLM:
KLM cancelling flights to Russia
KLM Royal Dutch Airlines has decided to cancel all flights to Russia scheduled for departure in the next seven days. KLM will also cease operating flights that pass over Russian territory en route to other destinations in the same period. This decision was prompted by sanctions agreed upon by EU states, stipulating that no spare aircraft parts may be sent to Russia, even if they are intended for the airline in question. This means KLM can no longer guarantee that flights to Russia or passing over Russian territory can return safely. Alternatives are currently being sought for flights scheduled to pass over Russian territory en route to other destinations.
Finnair had access to the Russian airspace, then the Soviet Union, when most airlines were banned from using it for overfly purposes. This helped Helsinki become the fastest route back in the day between Western Europe and North Asia.
I would assume that all EU/EEA countries ban Russian airplanes’ access to their airspace, and Russia surely reciprocates.
Overall, a small price to pay in support of Ukraine and condemn Russia’s unprecedented and unlawful actions.