Russia-Linked Greek Southwind Airlines is barred by the EU.

Russia-Linked Greek Southwind Airlines is barred by the EU.

The European Union (EU) has prohibited Turkey’s Southwind Airlines from using its airspace due to alleged connections with Russia, according to the latest reports.The decision to ban the Turkish carrier is a result of the sanctions imposed on Russia due to the war of aggression waged by Putin’s regime in Ukraine.
Southwind Airlines, based in Antalya, was initially established in 2022 to shuttle passengers between Russia and Turkey. However, not long ago, the carrier applied for permission to also offer flights from Turkey to Germany, Greece, Finland, and other European Union countries. On March 25, the Finnish Transport and Communications Agency banned the airline from operating in its airspace, stating that an investigation revealed significant ownership and control by Russian stakeholders, making it ineligible to operate in an EU member state.
On March 28, Brussels notified EU member states that Southwind Airlines is prohibited from taking off, flying over, or landing in EU airspace due to the regulations concerning sanctions on Russia. This ban was set to go in effect immediately.
Southwind flights between Antalya and Kaliningrad have been cancelled by the Association of Tour Operators of Russia (ATOR) due to the ban imposed, as these flights used to pass through European Union airspace.
The German tabloid Bild initially brought up concerns about the Turkish carrier’s background in December. According to Bild, Southwind was founded by Russian individuals and relies heavily on staff and aircraft leased from Nordwind Airlines, a Russian carrier prohibited in the EU.
The European Union closed its airspace Russian carriers and planes as one of the sanction imposed on Russia shortly after its full-scale invasion of neighboring Ukraine in February 2022. The US, Canada, UK, and Australia also adopted similar measures.
In February, both the European Union and the United States implemented new sanctions against Putin’s regime. These sanctions specifically aimed at various entities in multiple countries, including Turkey. The sanctions were imposed on 16 Turkish companies for their involvement in facilitating the transportation of goods that could have military applications for Russia. Additionally, Washington cautioned Turkey that its banks and additional companies could face secondary sanctions if they continued to engage in business dealings with Russian entities.

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