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FIATA warns of Belarus fall-out for freight

[ June 16, 2021   //   ]

The political fall-out from the Belarusia’s arrest of journalist, Raman Pratasevich, following interception of a Ryanair passenger flight could have ramifications for the freight industry, warns the FIATA forwarders’ organisation.

Sanctions and bans on overflying the country could pose significant risks to freight transport by air and land between Europe and China, it says

On 4 June, the EU imposed a ban on Belarusian airlines from using EU airspace and called for EU-based carriers to avoid overflying Belarus. Sanctions on senior Belarus officials are currently being contemplated, targeting key members of Lukashenko’s regime and several state-owned companies. Reports suggest that the UK and the US may adopt similar measures.

FIATA points out that Belarus is a major artery for East-West transport, and freight forwarders should be aware of the adverse impacts such sanctions and related restrictions could have on the movement of goods. Many flights to China, Japan and South Korea regularly fly over Belarusian airspace, and re-routing those flights will increase flight times and reduce cargo capacity.

Belarus lies astride international road transit corridors linking the EU with Russia, Central Asia, and China as well as the Baltic states with the Black Sea. It is also a key rail corridor, and interruptions to this route may have significant impacts on the Eurasian Landbridge.

FIATA adds that mounting tensions could lead to border closures and may affect freight transport.

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