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CAA suspends Belarusian airline permits

The Civil Aviation Authority has suspended all foreign carrier permits held by Belarusian airlines after a Ryanair flight was forced to land in Minsk.

The aircraft, carrying Belarusian journalist and activist Roman Protasevich, was heading from Athens to Lithuania when it was made to land in the Belarusian capital by a fighter jet.

Protasevich was arrested after the flight landed in Minsk on Sunday.

A UK Civil Aviation Authority spokesperson said: “Following the UK Government’s decision, the UK Civil Aviation Authority has suspended all foreign carrier permits held by Belarusian air carriers until further notice.

“This suspension applies to both scheduled operators, including the Belarusian airline Belavia, as well as chartered air carriers.

“The Civil Aviation Authority has also issued a notice to all UK registered airlines requesting that they avoid overflight of any territory of the Republic of Belarus”.

Transport secretary Grant Shapps had earlier tweeted: “Following the forced diversion of a Ryanair  aircraft to Minsk yesterday, I’ve instructed the UK CAA to request airlines avoid Belarusian airspace in order to keep passengers safe. I have also suspended Belavia’s operating permit.”

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