European Carriers Face Longer Flights Due To Closed African Airspaces

African airspace disruptions and flight suspensions were reported by European carriers on Monday due to Niger's airspace closure on Sunday. The junta responsible for the closure is awaiting a response from the West African regional bloc after failing to reinstate the country’s ousted president by the given deadline.


The geopolitical disruptions in the African airspace, including Libya and Sudan, are causing flight detours of up to 620 miles. FlightRadar24 tracking service stated in a blog post that the closure of Niger's airspace has significantly expanded the area where commercial flights between Europe and southern Africa cannot fly. 

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Air France has halted flights to and from Ouagadougou in Burkina Faso and Bamako in Mali until Aug. 11, with longer flight times anticipated in West Africa. Air France also expects longer flight times from sub-Saharan hub airports but will operate non-stop flights between Charles de Gaulle Airport in Paris and Accra in Ghana. However, aviation analyst James Halstead believes that airlines can find alternative routes and that difficulties should be limited due to the small number of African air connections. 


Lufthansa and Brussels Airlines' spokespeople mentioned that rerouted flights could take between one and a half to three and a half hours longer. British Airways apologized to its affected customers for the disruption to their journeys and stated that it's working diligently to get them back on track as soon as possible.

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