September 12 (SeeNews) - A day after flag carrier Air Moldova said it is resuming flights to Moscow, Moldova's Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) said it is banning all local airlines from operating in Russian airspace.
The decision was taken for safety and security reasons, CAA said in a press release on Saturday.
A day earlier Air Moldova said it is resuming flights to the Russian capital as of October 1 due to high demand.
Air Moldova said in a press release on Sunday that it will sue the CAA if it will not allow it to fly to Russia.
Moldovan deputy prime minister Andrei Spinu said in a televised statement on Saturday that Air Moldova's announcement was "irresponsible".
"We believe that such flights are risky and I ask citizens not to be fooled by this announcement, because nothing is clear yet," Spinu said during a talkshow on local TV station Moldova1.
Parliament chairman Igor Grosu said that Air Moldova's announcement is "a lie", and that the people behind the statement would have an interest in destabilizing Moldova. "It is a lie like many others that are meant to raise some expectations and create tension. It was an instrument of manipulation and misinformation of this company which is still owned by people who should be in jail," Igor Grosu said during a talkshow aired by TVR Moldova on Saturday.
Moldova suspended all flights to Russia soon after the Kremlin launched a military invasion of Ukraine in February. In March, Moldova partially re-opened its airspace for civil flights.
State-owned Air Moldova was established in 1993 and currently operates direct flights to various destinations such as St. Petersburg, Krasnodar, Tel Aviv, Istanbul, Antalya, London, Dublin, Frankfurt, Paris, Nice, Lisbon, Rome, Milan, Verona, Thessaloniki, Heraklion and Sharm el Sheik.
In 2018, the company was bought by Romania's Civil Aviation Group for 1.3 billion Moldovan lei ($67 million/67 million euro), which included the company's 1.25 billion lei debt. A year later, Blue Air aviation, which owned 49% of Civil Aviation Group, sold its stake stake to Latvian businessman Dzintars Pomers.
(1 euro=19.4422 lei)