Russian Federation extends overflight privileges of USA carriers ahead of deadline

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The approval was given just hours before U.S. carriers would have had to re-route flights.

Moscow has extended overflight privileges of US carriers flying over Russian Federation, hours before they were due to expire, the US State Department said, noting that it continues working with Moscow to secure "benefits" for US companies.

The extension covers four routes over Russian Federation; three are now used by both passenger and freighter airlines and, according to the US State Department, have extensions until October 28.

"We are also working to schedule discussions with Russian civil aviation officials to discuss this and other civil aviation matters", said the spokesperson. Sain Airlines For America, which unites US air carriers, reported TASS.

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Earlier, State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert told a daily briefing for reporters that the department had met with representatives from U.S. commercial and cargo carriers to discuss their concerns as the deadline loomed.

A Russian Transport Ministry spokesman said Russia had sent a letter to US aviation authorities asking to postpone the meeting because of organizational issues.

An official from Russian Transport ministry confirmed to Russian Aviation Insider that U.S. carriers would be able to continue overflying Russian territory after April 19, 2018, the date when the agreement, which governs the number of transit slots, expires. U.S diplomats in Moscow were in talks with the Russian government, she added. According to Bloomberg, Russia could use extension of flight approvals as a counter measure to the new sanctions Washington imposed on Moscow due to the situation in Syria. Russian Federation is a staunch ally of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

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