Air Moldova to relaunch flights to Moscow pending regulatory approval

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LONDON — Moldovan national carrier Air Moldova said on Friday it hoped to restart flights between Moldova’s capital Chisinau and Moscow from Oct. 1, after Moldova suspended air links with Russia over the Feb. 24 invasion of Ukraine.

“This decision comes as a result of countless requests from citizens of the Republic of Moldova, based in Russian Federation and their decision to return home,” the airline said in a statement.

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The relaunched service must be approved by Moldova’s aviation regulator. With Ukrainian airspace closed, the route is likely to take significantly longer than it did before the war.

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In a statement, the regulator said it would review the airline’s request “from a safety and consumer protection perspective.”

Air links between Europe and Russia were dramatically restricted after the Feb. 24 invasion, when each side closed its airspace to the other’s airlines. Air traffic since has been channeled through a handful of services routed through hubs including Istanbul, Belgrade and Dubai.

Moldova, which shares a border with Ukraine, closed its airspace in the immediate wake of the Russian invasion, but partially reopened it a month later. (Reporting by Reuters Editing by Mark Potter)

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