Belarusian Plane Circles Poland after Being Denied Access to French Airspace
A Belarusian passenger plane flew over Poland after it was denied entrance into French airspace. The plane was set to land in Barcelona later this afternoon.
A Belarusian passenger plane destined for Barcelona today faced a unique difficulty after being denied access into French airspace. According to reports, the airplane had departed from Minsk and was scheduled to land this afternoon.
However, the Belarusian state carrier Belavia flight 2869 was not allowed to enter French airspace by Poland authorities after hovering over Europe for several minutes.
Pawel Lukasiewicz, a Polish Air Navigation Services Agency spokesperson, elaborated on the controversial occurrence stating that the plane's pilot was told that he would not be given access. Lukasiewicz explained:
"This pilot received information from us that the French airspace was blocked ... and he may have a problem with entering."
According to reports, Belavia planes have been denied permission to cross France's territory. Other countries where the aircraft has been refused entrance include Sweden, Britain, Ukraine, Finland, Latvia, and the Czech Republic.
Tray tables were being raised and seat backs returned to the upright position as passengers on Ryanair Flight 4978 prepared to land in Lithuania. Then, suddenly, the plane made a U-turn. Roman Protasevich, the Belarusian dissident on board, began to panic. https://t.co/Uf2Mr8JYvP— The New York Times (@nytimes) May 24, 2021
The Ryanair flight ― carrying 170 passengers including non-conformist journalist Roman Protasevich ― was headed to Lithuania from Athens when it was forced to land while flying over Belarus airspace.
The pilot was reportedly informed about the presence of a "potential security threat onboard" and redirected to Minsk, where it was made to land. However, upon searching the plane, no bomb threat was found.