Canada Sends Warning After Russian Airline Aeroflot Violates Its Airspace

Canada issued a warning after Russian airline Aeroflot violated a ban on using Canadian airspace on Sunday, according to Transport Canada.

The violation occurred on the same day Canada and Europe said they would close their airspace to Russian airlines in response to Moscow's invasion of Ukraine, raising pressure on the U.S. to follow suit.

"We are aware that Aeroflot Flight 111 violated the prohibition put in place earlier today on Russian flights using Canadian airspace," Transport Canada said in a tweet late on Sunday.

Flight 111, heading from Miami, Florida to Moscow, took off at 15:12 ET on Sunday, according to FlightRadar24.

Valérie Glazer, a spokesperson for Canada's transport minister Omar Alghabra, told Newsweek that Alghabra met with the CEO of Nav Canada, the independent air navigation service provider, on Monday.

"Transport Canada is launching a review of the conduct of Aeroflot and the air navigation service provider leading up to this violation," Glazer said.

"We will not hesitate to take appropriate enforcement action and other measures to prevent future violations. Canadian airspace remains closed to Russian planes."

Flight 111 declared itself a humanitarian flight as it entered Canada's airspace, a request that Transport Canada has serious concerns about, Newsweek understands.

According to The Associated Press, the department said Canadian officials "mistakenly permitted a banned aircraft into Canadian airspace. This shouldn't have happened."

Alghabra had said on Sunday his nation was closing its airspace to all Russian planes to hold the country accountable for an unprovoked attack on its neighbor.

"All of Canada is united in its outrage of President Putin's aggression against Ukraine," Alghabra said in a statement.

"In response, we have closed Canadian airspace to Russian-owned or operated aircraft. The Government of Canada condemns Russia's aggressive actions and we will continue to take action to stand with Ukraine."

European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said the European Union would shut down its airspace to planes owned, registered or controlled by Russians including "the private jets of oligarchs."

"They won't be able to land in, take off or overfly the territory of the EU," von der Leyen added.

As more airlines canceled flights in and out of Russia, and a growing number of countries blocked Russian airlines, the U.S. embassy in Moscow urged American citizens in Russia to consider leaving the country immediately.

"An increasing number of airlines are cancelling flights into and out of Russia, and numerous countries have closed their airspace to Russian airlines," the embassy said in a security alert. "U.S. citizens should consider departing Russia immediately via commercial options still available."

Meanwhile, Delta Air Lines has suspended its code-sharing partnership with Aeroflot under which the airlines sold seats on each other's flights.

"We have removed our code from Aeroflot-operated services beyond Moscow's Sheremetyevo Airport and removed Aeroflot's code from Delta-operated services from Los Angeles and New York-JFK. Accommodations will be made for customers affected by these changes," Delta said in a statement on Friday, adding that it does not operate flights to Ukraine or Russia.

Update 2/28/22, 4:22 a.m. ET: This article has been updated with additional information.

Update 3/1/22, 3:25 a.m. ET: This article has been updated with a statement from Valérie Glazer and additional information.

A Russian Aeroflot airlines plane takes off
A Russian Aeroflot plane takes off from Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) on February 22, 2022. Daniel Slim/AFP via Getty Images