Korean Air to reroute flights that use Russian airspace

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The logo of Korean Airlines is seen on a B787-9 plane at its aviation shed in Incheon, South Korea, February 27, 2017. REUTERS/Kim Hong-Ji

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SEOUL, March 15 (Reuters) - Korean Air Lines (003490.KS) will reroute flights to Europe and eastern North America that made use of Russian airspace, the airline said on Tuesday, citing operational challenges and safety concerns.

The airline will also temporarily suspend all passenger and cargo services with Moscow and Vladivostok until the end of April, Korean Air said in a statement.

Among these are flights between Incheon and Moscow, Incheon and Vladivostok, and those with stopovers in Moscow, it added.

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Flights on European routes, such as Seoul-London, will be rerouted via other countries such as China, Kazakhstan and Turkey, adding up to 2 hours and 45 minutes to the duration of one-way trips, it said.

Flights departing from North American airports, such as New York-Seoul, will be rerouted via Alaska and the Pacific Ocean, which will add flight time of up to 1 hour and 40 minutes to each one-way trip.

South Korean budget carrier Air Busan Co Ltd (298690.KS), said it will cancel six passenger flights with Vladivostok until April 15, citing issues such as airport operations and safety.

Other airlines, such as Japan's ANA, have already altered routes over Europe following Russia's invasion of Ukraine. read more

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Reporting by Joyce Lee; Additional reporting by Heekyong Yang; Editing by Kim Coghill

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