A huge load of medical supplies from China arrived at Larnaca airport on Wednesday evening, after an “adventurous” flight on a Russian aircraft.
The flight, which was operated by Russian airline Azur Air, was chartered by the Cypriot government in an effort to gather critical medical supplies but also stock up amid the coronavirus pandemic.
Transport Minister Yiannis Karousos said the aircraft, carrying 36 tonnes of protective masks, disposable surgical gowns, and shoe covers.
The flight departed from China’s Tianjin Binhai airport early on Wednesday morning.
Reports said the pilot did not have enough fuel on board to reach the island without going through Turkish airspace.
After requesting and being denied permission to enter Turkish airspace, the plane in the afternoon landed outside Moscow at Vnukovo, the charter airline’s hub, in order to refuel and for a new crew to take over the last leg of the flight.
Due to Cyprus’ illegal occupation by Turkey, aircrafts flying to and from the Republic of Cyprus often have to deal with route restrictions imposed by Turkey, while planes flying to and from the northern part of the island fly unrestricted.