The US has become the latest country to ban Russian aircraft from flying in its airspace due to the ongoing Russian invasion of Ukraine.

President Joe Biden announced the closure of US airspace to Russian airlines during his State of the Union address to Congress in Washington DC on Tuesday (1 March).

The widely expected move comes after the EU, UK and Canada all banned Russian aircraft from its airspace during the past few days. 

Russia retaliated by banning airlines from 36 countries, including all 27 EU members, from using its airspace, which will mean the re-routing of long-haul flights from western Europe to destinations such as China, Japan and North Korea.

Meanwhile, Hungary-based carrier Wizz Air has said it will help support Ukrainian refugees by providing 100,000 free seats on its short-haul flights departing from Poland, Slovakia, Hungary, and Romania in March.

Jozsef Varadi, CEO of Wizz Air, said: “Our hearts are with the Ukrainian people during this crisis. We are committed to helping as many Ukrainian refugees as possible to get to a safe place, which is why we will be offering them 100,000 free seats from the border countries and special rescue fares on all other flights. 

“We have already seen great humanitarian efforts on the ground by our people across the network, and as a company we wanted to play our part in these efforts.”

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