My flight from Europe to Japan with stop-over in Finland (Helsinki) was cancelled as it went through Russian air space, and no alternative was given.

As far as I know most other flights from London/Paris/Frankfurt also usually fly the northern route through Russian air space.

I am now looking for a different route, southbound, for example with stop-over in Bangkok, or Singapore or United Arab Emirates, or other, doesn't really matter.

How do I best approach such a search that avoids Russian air space?

  • Of interest, there is a difference between actual Russian airspace and and FIRs (Flight information regions) controlled by Russian ATC. See this question on the aviation SE
    – Peter M
    Feb 28, 2022 at 16:31
  • 1
    You cannot really do that, airlines can and do divert flights based on changing conditions. What's your ultimate goal here? Avoiding Russian air space for your own personal preference or finding a flight that is less likely to be cancelled? One way to make sure would be to fly the other way around, over the US.
    – Relaxed
    Feb 28, 2022 at 16:36
  • 2
    @Relaxed: Even then, you have to be careful; the great-circle routes from the Eastern US to East Asia pass through far-eastern Russia as well. Feb 28, 2022 at 17:05
  • 4
    As both Russia and most other countries have stopped airplanes crossing Russian airspace, it might just be easy, check out which routes are offered for the next few days, then check those to see whether they do fit your requirements.
    – Willeke
    Feb 28, 2022 at 17:24

1 Answer 1


It looks like the middle eastern carriers are a good bet at the moment. Etihad, Emirates, Qatar, etc.

A few more options:

  1. Thai airways through BKK is another option, but a fair bit of a detour.
  2. Turkish through Istanbul. Gets close but should stay south of Russia

These are all available for later this week and not particularly expensive. Air France is offering through Paris as well but that's dicey as the direct route goes straight over Ukraine.

  • 3
    Ukraine apparently closed its airspace, so I doubt that Air France is flying over Ukraine at the moment. (Also as an aside "the Ukraine" is an incorrect designation of the country. See this. I think it also can be perceived as derogatory by Ukrainians)
    – Peter M
    Feb 28, 2022 at 18:16
  • Thanks for the hint about naming. Fixed. I know that the airspace is closed and hence I qualified this as the "direct route" being dicey. It means that they will either reroute or cancel, but it's hard to predict where it will go, I certainly wouldn't book it in the morning.
    – Hilmar
    Mar 1, 2022 at 8:42
  • Thank you for your answer. I was mostly looking for a way that isn't brute force checking all routes, but that doesn't seem to exist. I eventually found out by checking all flights and their recent routes on flight radar sight that Swiss air diverts all their flights from Zuerich to Tokyo to fly south of Ukraine and Russia.
    – MPS
    Mar 2, 2022 at 7:33

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