When Politics Divert Operations: Airlines React to Forced Landing in Belarus


A politically motivated forced landing of a Ryanair flight traveling in Belarusian airspace was swiftly followed by sanctions against Belarus that led to the diversion of European Union airlines. The sanctions banned flights through Belarusian airspace and put airlines in a tricky spot, with some industry experts warning that the politicizing of air travel undermines airlines’ own risk assessment processes and strategies. This case covers the incident and asks students to discuss the blurred lines between business and politics.

This case was prepared for inclusion in SAGE Business Cases primarily as a basis for classroom discussion or self-study, and is not meant to illustrate either effective or ineffective management styles. Nothing herein shall be deemed to be an endorsement of any kind. This case is for scholarly, educational, or personal use only within your university, and cannot be forwarded outside the university or used for other commercial purposes.

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