Russia this morning decided to divert a United Airlines flight en route to China, banning it from flying over it’s airspace. The incident was recorded by hundreds of witnesses and then taken to social media, where it is going viral.
The plane ended up being delayed because it had to take a longer route and had to stop at an airport in Tokyo to refuel. That was when several customers began to complain over social media.
The officials that blocked the flight cited “diplomatic reasons”.
One customer named Andy Brown wrote in a Facebook post: “Then they backed into something at Tokyo airport broke something on the plane! United probably will not tell the public about this.”
The Daily Caller writes:
It is not entirely clear what diplomatic concerns may have forced the diversion. The most obvious explanation would be the tense relationship between the U.S. and Russia over Syria’s use of chemical weapons during an attack on April 4.
The White House said on Tuesday that the Russian government has engaged in a cover-up to shift blame from the Syrian regime for the attacks, which involved the use of sarin gas and killed 100 people. Syria and Russia are allies.
In 2014, Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev floated the idea of denying Western airlines access to Russian airspace in response to sanctions.
Secretary of State Rex Tillerson is also currently in Russia. He met with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov on Tuesday and will meet with Vladimir Putin on Wednesday.
It is unclear if any other flights were re-routed and whether the diversions are temporary.