Due to operations in the Nagorno-Karabakh region, flights of leading European carriers have been suspended. Some planes had to turn back.
Tuesday brought decisions by airlines regarding flights over Nagorno-Karabakh. Lufthansa and KLM Air France have decided to cancel their flights. According to Reuters, KLM Air France announced the cancellation of five scheduled flights over Azerbaijan due to the escalation of the tense situation in Karabakh. We are talking about flights from Amsterdam to Asia that fly over potentially dangerous space. One of the planes was already on its way to Tokyo when it returned to the Dutch capital halfway through the flight. The Dutch carrier decides to change its routes and not continue flights over Azerbaijan.
No more flying over dangerous regions
“Lufthansa is not operating any flights to and from Azerbaijan until further notice,” Lufthansa said in a press release. The Kazakh airline Air Astana will also not fly to Azerbaijan. Leading European carriers such as KLM Air France and Lufthansa are also deciding to introduce security measures.
The actions in Nagorno-Karabakh that began at the beginning of the week may herald a re-ignition of the conflict in the unstable region. Azerbaijan is escalating a dispute that has been active for many years, expressing its desire to restore constitutional order and expel Armenians. Karabakh is internationally recognized as part of Azerbaijan, but historically this region is inhabited mainly by Armenians. Christian Armenians claim the region as their presence there has been recorded for centuries. Azerbaijan is inhabited by Turkish Muslims, who also draw attention to their strong historical connections with this place.
Azerbaijan and Armenia have already fought two wars over the disputed area since the collapse of the Soviet Union, of which both countries were part. The Armenia-Azerbaijan border has been closed since 1991 and is under the control of the army and border services. The separatist area is also problematic for airlines that fly their routes to Asia over the Caucasus. Following reports of shelling and civilian casualties, an intensification of attacks and a full-blown armed conflict are possible in the following days. So travel will probably be suspended for longer.