Closure of Sudan Airspace due to conflict

The closure of Sudanese airspace has had a significant impact on major airlines operating in Africa, such as Turkish Airlines, Qatar Airways, Emirates, Etihad Airways, Saudi Airlines, Air France, Air Mauritius, British Airways and others. Ethiopian Airlines has the most significant exposure due to its geographic position, potentially having to reroute up to 38 routes in its network.

At Khartoum Airportsatellite images have revealed the extent of the damage caused by the fighting, up to 20 aircraft – civilian and military – have been destroyed. One of the airliners has been identified as a Boeing 737 owned by Ukrainian carrier SkyUp.

Fighting in Sudan between paramilitary forces and the country’s army which began in and around Khartoum, much of it centered on its airport, and has progressed beyond the capital – a proposed ceasefire seemingly having little effect. The outbreak of violence followed reports of a strain in the relationship between the military leader Abdel Fattah al-Burhan and his number two, paramilitary commander Mohamed Hamdan Daglo. Hopefully a new ceasefire is being negotiated, with the resolution of the conflict by diplomacy not guns.

The AIR MAURITIUS flight from Paris CDG to SSR Airport yesterday (MK015) normally would have over flown over Sudan (see picture 1.). BUT IT WAS REROUTED to fly over the Red Sea AND ENTIRELY AVOID Sudanese airspace, for security reasons (see picture 2, taken on board flight by passenger Michael Atchia).