KLM reverses flights to Moscow and Saint Petersburg
KLM has had two flights that were en route to Saint Petersburg and Moscow reversed, the airline reports. The plane to Saint Petersburg is returning to Amsterdam and the plane to Moscow will be diverted to another city, a spokesperson said.
LIVE: Two KLM flights from Amsterdam to Russia have turned back. Reasons not yet known.#KL903 to Moscow/Sheremetyevo (737-900 PH-BXR): https://t.co/8u97mpFpIi#KL1395 to St Petersburg (737-800 PH-BCH): https://t.co/UtIEg6Y4tG@flightradar24— Airport Webcams (@AirportWebcams) February 26, 2022
AMS: https://t.co/QmxZPyrfEd pic.twitter.com/fKWiEEGz16
The sanction package that European leaders have agreed on includes not sending spare aircraft parts to Russia. "This means that we can no longer guarantee that flights to Russia can return safely," according to KLM. "What this means for flights after today and flights that were planned to fly over Russia is currently being investigated."
The app from airplane monitoring website Flightradar24 shows that KLM flight 903 to Moscow, which left Amsterdam shortly at 11:48 a.m., nearly reached its destination before turning around. The aircraft destined for Saint Petersburg, KLM flight 1395, took off just after 1 p.m. and turned around over Estonia.
Both flights were in Swedish airspace by 4:15 p.m. The flight to Moscow was diverted to Copenhagen, where it will refuel before continuing to Schiphol. The flight to Saint Petersburg will return to Amsterdam without an additional stop.
Earlier this week, the airline said it would not allow its crews to stay overnight in Russia, but had intended on continuing flights between Amsterdam and cities in Russia. KLM previously canceled all flights to Kyiv and said it would not fly through Ukrainian airspace even before Russia’s recent invasion into Ukraine.
KLM was a codeshare partner with Malaysia Airlines in 2014 when flight MH17 from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur was shot down over Eastern Ukraine by what investigators said was a Russian Buk missile. The missile exploded, causing the Boeing 777 to break up in midair, killing all 298 people on board the aircraft. About half of them were Dutch citizens.
Reporting by ANP and NL Times.