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If Russia Closes Siberian Skies, European Airlines Will Suffer

An Airbus A321-200 aircraft, operated by Lufthansa, stands at a terminal before departure at Domodedovo airport in Moscow
An Airbus A321-200 aircraft, operated by Lufthansa, stands at a terminal before departure at Domodedovo airport in MoscowPhotograph by Alexander Zemlianichenko Jr./Bloomberg

If Russia decides to restrict its airspace in retaliation for economic sanctions, European airlines stand to suffer the most and bear the highest costs from rerouting flights.

Air France-KLM and Lufthansa sent the most planes over Siberia in the past week—almost 500 combined, according to data prepared for Bloomberg Businessweek by Flightradar24, an aircraft-tracking service. Finnair was next with 115 flights. Among U.S. airlines, United had 15 flights that traversed Russian airspace and American had one. Taken all together, there were more than 1,600 airline flights over Siberia since July 29.