Poland will ban all Russian air operators from using its airspace, the Polish prime minister, Mateusz Morawiecki, has announced. The move will be the first of its kind in the European Union.

"I have ordered the Cabinet of Ministers to prepare a decree which will result in the closing of Polish airspace for all Russian airlines," he declared in a Facebook post.

The ban is poised to enter into force at 0001L (2301Z) on February 26.

Since 0001L (0001Z) on February 25, Russian-owned, -operated, -chartered, or -leased aircraft have already been banned from flying to or over the United Kingdom.

Poland is an important transit country for Russian airlines on most of their westbound flights. As they are not allowed to overfly Ukraine, Belarus, and south-western Russia due to the ongoing military activities accompanying Russia's invasion of Ukraine, they have been forced to take a detour via Poland.

The ch-aviation schedules module shows that direct services between Russia and Poland are operated by Aeroflot (from Moscow Sheremetyevo to Warsaw Chopin) and LOT Polish Airlines (from Warsaw to Sheremetyevo and St. Petersburg). The Polish flag carrier announced that it would suspend both routes effective immediately at 1500L (1400Z) on February 25. It also said that it would bypass Russia on all of its long-haul routes.

The sanctions are a response to the invasion of Ukraine, which Russia commenced on February 24.

Editorial Comment: Updates with LOT's decision. - 25.02.2022 - 15:23 UTC