No direct flights to Finland from high-risk areas in southern Africa – no permits will be issued

The European Commission recommends that EU countries suspend air travel to and from those countries in southern Africa where cases of the new COVID-19 variant, Omicron, have been detected. Finland does not have air services agreements with these countries, and there are no direct flights to Finland from the risk areas in southern Africa. The Finnish Transport and Communications Agency Traficom emphasises that no permits for such flights will be issued at this point.

At present, there are no air services between Finland and countries in southern Africa. Therefore, there is no need for a decision to suspend air travel as recommended by the European Commission.

“We nonetheless want to make it clear that no permits for such flights would be granted in the present situation. Traficom has requested Fintraffic Air Navigation Services Ltd, the provider of aeronautical information service in Finland, to issue a Notice to Airmen (NOTAM) on the matter. We will continue to monitor the situation,” says Deputy Director-General Jarkko Saarimäki.

In accordance with the Commission recommendation, Traficom may still grant exceptional authorisations to individual air ambulance flights, cargo flights, ferry flights, humanitarian flights and repatriation flights.

The Finnish health authorities recommend avoiding all travel to South Africa, Namibia, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Lesotho, Eswatini (Swaziland), Mozambique and Malawi because of the new COVID-19 variant.

Enquiries

Jarkko Saarimäki, Deputy Director-General, jarkko.saarimaki(at)traficom.fi, tel. +358 40 836 0397.  Twitter @Saarimaki