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VIP flights overflying Russia (and other countries)

Thu Mar 01, 2018 11:52 pm

Hi all,

I just had a question about VIP flights of world leaders (and other dignitaries) overflying countries like Russia and others that may not be enemies but are also not friends. This came to mind when reading an article about Justin Trudeau's A310 on its way to India having a mechanical problem while refueling in Rome. I had the thought that Rome seemed like a strange place to refuel between YOW and DEL, and did a great circle map to see that it did add about 10% distance over somewhere like ARN. Then I realized that the route through FCO conveniently avoided all Russian territory.

Here is the article: ... -2026.html

Is this a coincidence or on purpose? Would Air Force One, for example, regularly overfly a country like Russia or China if not travelling to one of those countries? I am not looking for a political discussion but I am curious about what sort of factors go into these routing decisions.

Feel free to move if this should be in Tech/Ops or Military.

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