Planes to Fly Longer as Russia Asks that Beirut Flights Avoid Area over Mediterranean

إقرأ هذا الخبر بالعربية W460

Russia asked Lebanon Friday to ensure that flights from Beirut airport avoid an area over the eastern Mediterranean for the next three days, Transport and Public Works Minister Ghazi Zoaiter said.

Russia, which is carrying out air strikes in Syria, "has asked the Lebanese authorities that planes leaving Beirut airport towards the west avoid overflying an area in Mediterranean territorial waters because of maneuvers on Saturday, Sunday and Monday," he said.

Zoaiter said Lebanese authorities had "reservations about the Russian request" and were "studying it."

Middle East Airlines, Lebanon's national carrier, later said that “all of Saturday's flights will take off on time.”

“In line with the memo issued by the Directorate General of Civil Aviation about using a new air route between Lebanon and Cyprus, all of Saturday's flights will take off on time but some flights to the Arab Gulf countries and the Middle East will spend more time in the air due to the new air routes,” MEA said.

Meanwhile, Lebanese Ambassador to Cyprus Youssef Sadaqa told Lebanon's National News Agency that negotiations between MEA's office in Cyprus and the Cypriot civil aviation directorate had ended with an agreement on "a secure air route for Lebanese flights."

"This route will be over the southern region" of the Mediterranean, he added.

Lebanon's Directorate General of Civil Aviation later reassured that "flight operations at Beirut's Rafik Hariri International Airport will not be interrupted."

The Transport Ministry meanwhile announced the creation of “an emergency cell” tasked with “taking the necessary measures and establishing communication with the International Civil Aviation Organization and the relevant aviation authorities to maintain takeoff and landing operations while abiding by the highest standards of public safety.”

Later, a senior airport official said discussions were underway with the Russian authorities on the routes flights would take.

Rather than departing towards the west, or approaching from that direction, flights would be directed to first fly south above Sidon and Sarafand to "keep them away from the perimeter of the maneuvers," he said.

While no details were given on where the Russian exercises would take place, the Syrian coast is due north of Lebanon's, so redirecting air traffic to the south would lower any risks.

No details were available on the nature of the maneuvers, as Moscow has made no public announcement about them and officials at the Russian defense ministry could not be reached for comment when contacted by AFP.

In Beirut, the foreign ministry said Lebanon had "not received any official request... from Moscow. It was the Lebanese air traffic control that received a fax from the Russian navy."

In remarks to Voice of Lebanon radio (93.3), Zoaiter had said that he contacted Speaker Nabih Berri and Prime Minister Tammam Salam to "take the appropriate stance."

LBCI television said Zoaiter met with the airport director and the director general of civil aviation and that the conferees discussed the possibility of "maintaining aviation through replacing the northern route with a southern route over Sarafand."

NNA had earlier reported that "the relevant airport authorities have received a cable from the Russian navy saying that it will stage three days of naval exercises and drills according to specific coordinates as of midnight."

“This will have a direct impact on Lebanon's airspace and on aviation from and to Beirut's Rafik Hariri International Airport, which will bring air traffic to a near halt,” NNA quoted the airport authorities as saying.

“Even if Cypriot authorities agree to this, most airlines will suspend their flights from and to Lebanon due to distance and other logistic reasons related to aviation,” Lebanese airport authorities said.

LBCI had earlier reported that Moscow had asked Lebanon to “divert civilian flights from Lebanese airspace to international airspace as of midnight” and that “the request also involves neighboring countries.”

Progressive Socialist Party leader MP Walid Jumblat slammed what he called the Russian “orders” to Lebanon.

“The Russians have asked us to close our airspace for three days … Does (Foreign) Minister (Jebran) Bassil know of this? What a successful visit to Moscow!” Jumblat tweeted, referring to an official visit Bassil made to Moscow on Tuesday.

“We do not want to become another Moscow neighborhood and there should be respect for Lebanese sovereignty,” he added.

Y.R.

Comments 45
Default-user-icon Abboud (Guest) 20 November 2015, 18:57

Give them a whole week!

Default-user-icon illegitimate & illiterate Southern (Guest) 20 November 2015, 18:59

amazing comment as usual. thank you for being you southern, please never change.

Thumb Elemental 20 November 2015, 19:08

Zoaiter said Beirut had "reservations about the Russian request and was studying it." Why is that exactly Zoaiter? Please enlighten us why an Implant has any say over Russia?

Thumb Elemental 20 November 2015, 19:13

Perhaps their drug smuggling boats and weapons route would be disrupted, that's why.

Thumb eagledawn 20 November 2015, 19:35

Southern, you will be caught!

Thumb caballeros 20 November 2015, 19:37

And the height of the tourist season.Now who will pay for all those booked hotels? One more thing, didn't Putin drop a Jetliner in the Ukraine? I would consider calling in the President to demand an end to this. OOOOps.

Thumb cityboy 20 November 2015, 19:46

in your mind, every day of the year is the height of the tourist season. Were your friends that killed dozens of innocent people in Beirut last week concerned about the impact on Lebanese tourism.

Thumb ex-fpm 20 November 2015, 19:49

are you comparing the freedom loving Russia to those you call "terrorists"?

Thumb cityboy 20 November 2015, 20:08

No comparison, but it seems as though you are trying your hardest to. Good luck

Thumb cityboy 20 November 2015, 19:54

If anyone hasn't noticed, Russias direct entry into Syria has meant closer alliance between Lebanon and Russia. This is a positive consequence of Russia's involvement. The Saudis and Israelis can go suck on it. Of course Lebanon will divert air traffic for the next few days, we stand to gain equally with Russia.

Default-user-icon mowaten (Guest) 20 November 2015, 19:59

you know what is strange @cityboy.... I was thinking the same thing exactly, the same!!!! The similarities between us are not just coincidences anymore. I mean we are both shiaa extremists who pretend to be secular and we both are members of the shia resistance, both paid to post, both are sectarian to the bone, both troll and make up accounts to insult people and then pretend we are against such practices.... I hope just because we are similar in all the above ways people don't think we are the same poster.

Missing peace 20 November 2015, 20:06

how can people pretending to defend lebanese sovereignty accept an ORDER from russia.... no negociation possible. do as we say or planes may be downed... pityful.

Thumb cityboy 20 November 2015, 20:12

try request, not order.

Missing peace 20 November 2015, 20:19

"naval exercises and drills according to specific coordinates as of midnight.” "

request is the diplomatic term for order here... but it does not seem to bother you that lebanese airspace could be disrupted to satisfy russian demands... then what else will they demand?

Thumb justin 20 November 2015, 20:24

"try request, not order."

How you people always find justification to things that cannot be justified! Do you think Lebanon can say NO to this request?

Missing peace 20 November 2015, 20:31

poor southern... they can train elsewhere without impacting lebanese economy! but you do not care about lebanese interests...
all you care about is hezbollaland, not Lebanon.

oh! and i notice once more your idiotic binary stance as usual... all those against hezbis or their allies are pro terrorists... who is the fool here? you! with this basic stupid way of thinking.

and russia is allied to europe, those you hate for being against hezbis!! forgot that? LOL

Missing peace 20 November 2015, 20:40

we know you M8ers and hezbis lovers are the only ones delivering certificates of patriotism... when one is not on your side you call him zionist or takfiri now. (you d better choose which one btw LOL!)

we know the song. the song of those who lack arguments and brains....

Thumb barrymore 20 November 2015, 20:48

This is not a request it is an order. You don't request from a government to close its airspace a few hours before you impose a deadline.

Missing peace 20 November 2015, 20:24

stop meddling israel in each of your posts when it is not the subject... we are talking about russia imposing its demands on a sovereign country. you cry when israel violates lebanese sovereignty but are happy when russia violates it... double standards as usual... i on the contrary am against all violations of lebanese sovereignty unlike you idiot.

but then again Lebanon means NOTHING to hezbis....

Missing peace 20 November 2015, 20:40

we know you M8ers and hezbis lovers are the only ones delivering certificates of patriotism... when one is not on your side you call him zionist or takfiri now. (you d better choose which one btw LOL!)

we know the song. the song of those who lack arguments and brains....

Missing peace 20 November 2015, 20:42

how can he be outraged? he didn't even think of that, as he cannot think...he lets hezbollah think for him.

Missing peace 20 November 2015, 20:53

well read my posts... you will see that i am as much against israel than bashar and your hezbollah... all enemies to Lebanon.

but M8ers have a selective memory.. they read what they want to read....

Missing peace 20 November 2015, 20:56

seems you are in love with him.... then tell us where are your boyfriend's counter arguments to say russia has this right? all there is is just insults to all the posts that are against your hezbi pimps....

Missing peace 20 November 2015, 21:00

oh! and the posts of others are none of my concern. i answered your boyfriend because he just insulted me. if he hadn't i wouldn't have said a thing but let him ease off his frustration along with the others who also insult...

but insult me i would answer back. that is all.

Thumb cityboy 20 November 2015, 21:02

thirteen, you really think that the over priced hotels in lebanon will be outraged if they lost a booking for the weekend. lol

Missing peace 20 November 2015, 21:02

good thing you are blind southern... russia is in syria also to counter the influence iran is taking there with your hezbi friends. they want to be the ones to dictate their rules not the rules of iran. but you do not see that.... yet. LOL

Thumb ashtah 20 November 2015, 21:10

troll fest

Missing bigjohn 20 November 2015, 22:42

"Russia Asks that Beirut Flights Avoid Area over Mediterranean" I see the word ASK not IMPOSE. BTW, if Russia imposes than they could go to hell!

Missing bigjohn 20 November 2015, 22:45

Russia Asks that Beirut Flights Avoid Area over Mediterranean" I see the word ASK not IMPOSE. BTW, if Russia imposes than they could go to hell!

Thumb liberty 21 November 2015, 04:01

very bigjohn, read this "request"

"أمر عمليات" روسي طار فوق الدولة! لبنان يرفض حظر الملاحة ويُعدّل المسارات
http://newspaper.annahar.com/article/286388-أمر-عمليات-روسي-طار-فوق-الدولة-لبنان-يرفض-حظر-الملاحة-ويعدل-المسارات?id=286388

Missing bigjohn 20 November 2015, 22:52

Ok...M14ers calm down. I am not that crazy about Russia interfering in Syria where Lebanon is a close neighbor either. You do not get upset when the American government orders the Lebanese government not to accept weapons from Iran to please Israel.

Thumb liberty 21 November 2015, 04:16

why did the aoun and hezbollah miqati government agree and submit to the american orders?

Missing peace 20 November 2015, 23:04

so is iran , so what is your point?

Thumb liberty 21 November 2015, 03:53

Russia who is Israel's ally is now hezbollah's friend! But Hezbollah sill cares about palestine...

Thumb liberty 21 November 2015, 03:56

hizb of iran already does.

Thumb liberty 21 November 2015, 03:57

nothing new, the troll mowaten is exposed once more

Missing phillipo 21 November 2015, 07:48

I'm sorry but I don't see the problem.
Flights to and from Beirut to the Gulf States, flew west over the Med, then south and cross Sinai before overflying Saudi Arabia, instead of the more direct route over Syria and Jordan or Iraq, because of the situation in Syria, and they have been doing this for years. No airlines have cancelled their flights, no passengers have not reached their destination, no hotel bookings have had to be cancelled.
Then they stopped flying over Sinai and take a longer route over Egypt, no one was affected by the extra hour flight.
So why can't they just fly a new route over the Med for a few days?

Thumb marcus 21 November 2015, 09:09

i wonder what Israel would do if it was ordered by Russia to do the same.

" No airlines have cancelled their flights, no passengers have not reached their destination, no hotel bookings have had to be cancelled. "

12 minutes ago LBCI: Kuwait Airlines canceled two flights that were scheduled to land in Beirut today.

Thumb ice-man 21 November 2015, 16:21

@lebcad: you seem very educated and well informed. Are you a shia ?

Missing peace 21 November 2015, 16:33

then you would agree if israel does the same ma hek? LOL

Thumb eagledawn 21 November 2015, 19:09

the 'Canadian' says "Stop crying and go read", yet he spells "blame" as "blaim" ;)

Thumb whyaskwhy 21 November 2015, 15:29

If the US made the same demand kizballah would say fowl as this helps Israel. Hypocrisy is alive and doing well in the minds of the fable.

Thumb ice-man 21 November 2015, 17:47

excellent feedback thank you. It seems you are not a shia but as educated as a shia. Do you also celebrate ashoura?

Missing people-power 21 November 2015, 18:45

Big surprise.....

Lebcad = another Pro-Iranian, anti-Sunni, secular houthista "Christian".

Thumb ice-man 21 November 2015, 18:48

I bet as a Christian you deal with a lot of iranian shias where you live and you concluded they are a great people. Is Canada better than Dahyeh? Do you have a Canadian passport? You must be lucky coz you live in Canada and deal with iranians. I also noticed almost invariably all Christians on naharnet love shias and speak highly of iranians. You are no different.