Japan Airlines announced the cancellation of all flights to and from Europe on Thursday, citing concerns about the situation in Ukraine and following a similar move by bigger rival ANA Holdings.
“We are continuously monitoring the situation, but given the present situation in Ukraine and the different risks, we have decided to cancel flights,” a JAL spokesperson said.
The airlines, which normally use Russian airspace for their Europe flights, joined a growing number of carriers that have canceled or rerouted flights between Europe and North Asia in the wake of the crisis.
Airlines worldwide have suspended flights in Russian airspace while European nations, Canada, and the United States have banned Russian aircraft from their airspace to pressure President Vladimir Putin to end the Ukraine invasion.
Both JAL and ANA canceled eight flights each carrier had scheduled for Friday, including routes to London, Paris, Frankfurt, and Helsinki.
According to a spokesperson for flight tracking website FlightRadar24, ANA and JAL operate about 60 flights per week through Russian airspace between Tokyo and London, Paris, Frankfurt, and Helsinki.
A Tokyo-Brussels flight due to carry vaccines on the return leg would be routed over central Asia, ANA said.
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