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Due to a military coup in the Republic of Niger, the African country’s airspace has been closed. This has had an effect of several European flights having to add up to two hours of flight time.

Leaders of the country’s armed forces closed its airspace on Sunday with no indication of when it will reopen again.

A British Airways flight on its way to London from Johannesburg was forced to turn around because it was already in the air when the closure was announced.

International airlines like Air France and British Airways have been impacted as flights between Europe and several African countries have become longer with some having to add 15 minutes and others up to two hours.

FlightRadar24 reports that this restriction means airlines that used to fly to countries like South Africa and Ghana via Niger skies now have to go around adding hours of flight time and up to 600 or more miles to the already long journeys.

In retaliation, Air France has said that flights to, from and via Niger has been suspended until further notice.

Other airlines like Swiss International Airlines, Virgin Atlantic Airways and Lufthansa have already said that they are avoiding Niger.

Image credit: Flightradar24

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