UPDATE: March 2, 2022: President Joe Biden announced the closure of U.S. airspace to all private and commercial flights from Russia during his State of the Union address Tuesday evening. The U.S. Department of Transportation said in a statement that orders will be fully effective by the end of today prohibiting passenger, cargo and charter flights of “all aircraft owned, certified, operated, registered, chartered, leased, or controlled by, for, or for the benefit of, a person who is a citizen of Russia.”
- Although the European Union and Canada have banned Russian flights in their airspace, U.S. airspace remains open to flights from Russia. Aeroflot, which is 57% owned by the Russian Federation through its Federal Agency for State Property Management, landed a flight in Miami yesterday, according to FlightRadar24.
- The airline flies from Moscow to Los Angeles, New York, Miami and Washington, D.C. On Friday, Delta Air Lines ended its code-share service with Aeroflot, effective immediately.
- On Sunday, the U.S. Embassy in Russia issued a security alert advising U.S. citizens to "consider departing Russia immediately via commercial options still available," which include other airlines that offer connecting flights through countries that have not restricted their airspace.
On Feb. 24, as Russia began an invasion of Ukraine, the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration prohibited U.S. carriers from flying in airspace that includes Ukraine, Belarus and the western region of Russia, including Moscow, but it did not close U.S. airspace to Russian airlines or air cargo operators.
As recently as 2019, Aeroflot had more than one million seats a year available between Moscow and four U.S. cities, and more than 250,000 visitors came to the United States from Russia that year. Last year, Russia's national air carrier operated 10 flights weekly between the Russian capital and New York, six between it and Los Angeles, three to and from Miami, and one a week to and from Washington's Dulles Airport. According to Airline Weekly, Aeroflot anticipated operating 5,500 flights to European and NATO countries in March.
Data from FlightRadar24 showed that Aeroflot flight 110 arrived in Miami Sunday morning and returned later that day to Moscow as flight 111. Also on Sunday, Aeroflot flight 124 to New York turned back to Moscow en route while approaching Greenland. As of this morning, a search of the Aeroflot reservation website finds no flights to any of its U.S. destinations for the coming weeks.
On Sunday, both UPS and FedEx suspended air cargo flights to Russia.
The Wall Street Journal reported that U.S. officials have discussed banning flights from Russia, but have not made a decision. The Federal Aviation Administration has not responded to a question from Smart Cities Dive about the possible closure of U.S. airspace to flights from Russia.