A Brussels Airlines passenger flight en route for Kigali, Rwanda, on Thursday was forced to turned around when Sudan closed its air space following the overthrow of President Omar Al-Bashir, the airline reported. “There was no choice but to go back to Brussels,” Brussels Airline spokesperson Kim Daenen said. “There is no other authorised flight route to Rwanda than through Sudanese air space,” she added.
The plane’s 214 passengers will now have a much longer journey than expected. The plane had left Brussels Airport just before 11.00 a.m. on Thursday and was turned back just as it approached Sudan. Brussels Airline said it would seek solutions for the stranded passengers.
Other Kigali-bound flights, scheduled for Friday and Saturday, will remain programmed until further notice. Meanwhile, RwandAir flights between Brussels and Kigali are still marked “as scheduled” on display screens at Brussels International Airport.
Sudanese airspace will remain closed at least until Friday afternoon.