After being excluded from many country's airspace since March 8, 2022, due to Russia's invasion of Ukraine, Aeroflot will soon resume flights between Moscow's Pushkin Airport and Beirut, according to a tweet Thursday from caretaker Minister of Transport and Public Works, Ali Hamiyeh.
The caretaker minister made the announcement after meeting Russian ambassador to Lebanon, Alexander Rudakov, and Aeroflot Director General, Sergei Prosvinov. Several issues concerning Moscow-Beirut relations were discussed, including Russian wheat and fuel donations to Lebanon, and the demarcation of the Lebanon-Cyprus-Syria maritime border.
Hamiyeh did not respond to L'Orient-Le Jour's requests for clarification but BIA Director Fadi Hassan told the paper that the Russian carrier operated "for over thirty years in Lebanon" until "the Covid-19 pandemic and the war in Ukraine."
With Aeroflot's return, "direct flights between Beirut and Moscow [will resume] at a rate of three per week (Monday, Wednesday and Sunday) as of Dec. 1," said the president Jean Abboud, spokesman for the Association of Travel Agencies and Tourism in Lebanon (Attal).
FlyOne Armenia's flights
Serving 146 destinations in 52 countries before March 8, Aeroflot has seen its world map shrink due to "circumstances preventing flight operations," as a statement from the Russian carrier phrased it. Domestic flights and routes to Belarus continued. Beirut's will be the latest international airport to resume Aeroflot flights, following Azerbaijan, Armenia, Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Iran, Turkey, China, India, Maldives, Thailand, Sri Lanka, the United Arab Emirates, Egypt.
In addition, Armenian public radio announced Friday the resumption of flights FlyOne Armenia from Yerevan to Beirut from Dec. 14, with two flights per week (Wednesday and Sunday). The Armenian carrier operates flights to Russia, France, Italy, Turkey, Georgia and Moldova. Launched in June, FlyOne Armenia's Yerevan-Beirut flights had been temporarily stopped by Turkey, according to local media, after Ankara rescinded the carrier's overflight rights.