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Finnair to continue flights over Belarus

Finnair says it is now operating fewer flights to Greece and Turkey than usual, and their routes will not be affected.

Finnair plans to keep flying through Belarusian airspace. Image: Mikko Ahmajärvi / Yle

Flag carrier Finnair said on Monday that it would continue flights to Greece and Turkey via Belarusian airspace.

Finnair operates a few flights weekly to Chania, Greece and Gazipaşa near Alanya in Turkey, which pass over Belarus.

The airline says it will follow official instructions, and that routing changes are possible.

Belarus intercepted a Ryanair flight from Athens to Vilnius yesterday, and arrested opposition activist Roman Protasevich, who wason board.

According to Finnair Communications Manager Mari Kanerva, there are currently fewer flights to Greece and Turkey than usual, and at least for the time being, their routes will not be affected.

"We are closely monitoring the development of this worrying case and possible official instructions. Several countries, including Finland, have already condemned the case and demanded an investigation," she told Yle.

Assessment of the use of airspace is part of the company's normal flight safety procedures, Kanerva said, adding that as no new regulatory instructions have been issued, flights will continue as before.

On Monday Foreign Minister Pekka Haavisto (Green) said that Belarus' explanation of why it forced the plane to land appeared to be untrue.

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