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(OFFICIAL) UPDATE 2 Russia approves Air France, Lufthansa routes avoiding Belarus

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An Air France Airbus A350 airplane lands at the Charles-de-Gaulle airport in Roissy, near Paris, France April 2, 2021. REUTERS/Christian Hartmann

MOSCOW, May 29 (Reuters) - Air France (AIRF.PA) and Lufthansa (LHAG.DE) have received approval from Russia for flight routes to the country that avoid Belarusian airspace, the airlines said on Saturday.

The European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) has advised domestic and foreign airlines to avoid Belarusian air space following the May 23 forced landing in Minsk of a Ryanair (RYA.I) jet en route to Lithuania from Greece, and the arrest of a dissident journalist on board. read more

Air France said its new flight path to Moscow started on Saturday and had been authorised for this weekend.

"We ... are awaiting a green light from Russian authorities for our flights after this weekend," a spokesman said.

Air France, part of the Air France-KLM group, operates one or two flights a day between Paris and Moscow.

A spokeswoman for Lufthansa, Germany's biggest airline, said it had been given approval for the new routes on its flights from Frankfurt to Moscow and St Petersburg for the foreseeable future.

Lufthansa currently operates seven return flights from Frankfurt to Moscow and three return flights from Frankfurt to St Petersburg per week.

(Lufthansa corrects number of weekly Moscow flights to seven from four in last paragraph)

Reporting by Polina Ivanova; Editing by Angus MacSwan

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