The Russian Transport Ministry has forbidden Norwegian airline Arctic Air from flying between Kirkenes and Murmansk. The ministry's press office told Rosbalt's correspondent that the ban was introduced yesterday and came into force today.
The Transport Ministry proposed that the Norwegian planes should fly at a significantly greater height than now. However, according to Norwegian news agency NTV, this option proved unacceptable to Arctic Air because its Dornier 228 planes, which fly the Kirkenes-Murmansk route, are not suitable for flying at high altitudes. The company's management intends to request an explanation from the Russian government for the decision taken by the Transport Ministry. Artic Air has operated thrice weekly flights to Murmansk since spring 2001.