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In this week’s newsletter we focus on what happened to the Ryanair flight in Belarus last week and what has happened in recent days as various governments react.
Flight path of Ryanair flight 4798 that was forcibly diverted to Minsk away from Vilnius
Start here: Ryanair flight 4798 forcibly diverted to Minsk

As the day unfolded, we looked at what the data tells us about the diversion of the aircraft, the relative distances to Vilnius and Minsk, and how the Ryanair flight from Athens to Vilnius normally operates. Also included are some of the initial statements from ICAO, IATA, and Ryanair.
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Ryanair in Belarus Explained 

What happened to Ryanair, why it matters, and what we’re watching for next.
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Image showing paths of aircraft that overflew Belarus in the week prior to FR4798
Who flew over Belarus last week? And who is flying there now? 

After airlines stopped flying over eastern Ukraine in 2014, Belarus became a natural transit point for flights between Europe and parts of Asia. We looked into the data to see who was flying over Belarus and which airlines are now going around.
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Graphic showing the status of airspace for Belarus air carriers
What about Belarus’ aircraft? 

Reaction to Sunday’s incident by the international community has been varied. Some governments have banned all flights by aircraft from Belarus, some have just banned flights from Belarus to their countries while continuing to allow overflights. We break it all down.
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EDITORIAL
Flightradar24 map centered on Belarus
Why does any of this matter? 

In this essay, Gabriel Leigh weighs the consequences of Belarus’ actions and argues that the international reaction must be forceful and sustained.
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ICAO LAUNCHING INVESTIGATION
ICAO Council in session in Montreal
International Civil Aviation Organization launching investigation

After an extraordinary session of the ICAO Council, the ICAO Secretariat will begin a fact-finding investigation into the diversion of FR4978.
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FLIGHTS OF INTEREST
Qantas Super Moon and Eclipse viewing flight path
Super views for the super moon and lunar eclipse

Qantas conducted a special flight early this week for a viewing of the Super Moon and lunar eclipse at 43,000 feet.
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AVIATION PHOTO OF THE WEEK
Cathay Pacific aircraft parked in Alice Springs
Cathay Pacific Parking Lot — aircraft in storage in Alice Springs.
PLANESPOTTING
Long exposure photograph of an A330 landing at Madeira’s Funchal aiport
Madeira: a planespotting paradise

If it’s photogenic landings, crosswind approaches, or just pure variety, Madeira’s Funchal airport can’t be beat.
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Downgraded 

We discuss what the FAA’s downgrade of Mexico safety rating to category 2 actually means.
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