Detours taken by airlines to avoid entering Belarusian airspace following the forced landing of a Ryanair jet are responsible for around an extra 250,000 kg of CO2 emissions per day, air traffic management estimates show.
On average, EU and UK carriers must fly 40 nautical miles more to adhere to EU sanctions against Belarus, with most re-routing through the Baltic states.
Belarusian strongman Alexander Lukashenko meets Russian President Vladimir Putin in Sochi on Friday in a critical display of Moscow's support for Lukashenko's regime, a day after the UN civil aviation agency announced it would investigate Sunday's diversion of a Ryanair plane and the arrest of a journalist on board.
Turkey's national flag carrier Turkish Airlines maintained its leadership in Europe with 729 daily flights on Wednesday, the European Organization for Air Navigation Safety (Eurocontrol) said on May 27.
According to a flight traffic report prepared by Eurocontrol, Turkish Airlines was followed by Air France, Lufthansa and Ryanair with 467, 386 and 368 flights, respectively.