Transport Canada has confirmed that a Russian aircraft flew over Canada yesterday, violating a prohibition on all flights from Russia enacted on Sunday.
Transport Minister Omar Alghabra announced that Canada was closing its airspace to all Russian aircraft operators as a response to the country’s assault on Ukraine.
But the same day, a Russian plane — Aeroflot 111 — was reported to have entered Canadian skies.
Effective immediately, Canada’s airspace is closed to all Russian aircraft operators. We will hold Russia accountable for its unprovoked attacks against Ukraine.
— Omar Alghabra (@OmarAlghabra) February 27, 2022
Exactly 13 hours after Minister Alghabra’s tweet about the ban, Transport Canada confirmed to the public that an aircraft had breached the ban.
“We are aware that Aeroflot flight 111 violated the prohibition put in place earlier today on Russian flights using Canadian airspace,” they said. “We are launching a review of the conduct of Aeroflot and the independent air navigation service provider, NAVCAN, leading up to this violation. We will not hesitate to take appropriate enforcement action and other measures to prevent future violations.”
(1/2) We are aware that Aeroflot flight 111 violated the prohibition put in place earlier today on Russian flights using Canadian airspace.
— Transport Canada (@Transport_gc) February 28, 2022
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In a press release issued on Sunday, Minister Alghabra said that Canada condemns Russia’s aggression against Ukraine and all aircraft operated, chartered, or owned by Russia could no longer pass over Canada. This included commercial airlines.
Aeroflot is a Russian commercial airline. Before the ban, several Aeroflot flights landed in Canada every week or made their way to other regions via Canadian airspace.
Currently, Transport Canada is advising Canadians to avoid non-essential travel to Russia and all travel to Ukraine and Belarus.
The list formerly only contained non-European countries like Yemen, Syria, South Sudan, Somalia, North Korea, Myanmar, Mali, Libya, Iran, Iraq, Chad, Central African Republic, Burundi, Afghanistan, and more.