Two passenger planes forced to turn around after ‘GPS was jammed by Russia’

The flights were forced to turn back two days in a row (Picture: Getty)

Two commercial flights in central Europe were forced to turn around after suspected navigational jamming from Russia.

Two Finnair flights from Helsinki to Tartu, Estonia, turned around both Thursday and Friday last week after their navigation systems were targeted.

Lithuania’s foreign minister Gabrielius Landsbergis spoke to the Financial Times about the increase of jamming from Russia: ‘If someone turns off your headlights while you’re driving at night, it gets dangerous.

‘Things in the Baltic region near Russian borders are now getting too dangerous to ignore.’

Estonia’s foreign minister Margus Tsahkna added: ‘We consider what is happening with GPS as part of Russia’s hostile activities, and we will definitely discuss it with our allies.

‘Such actions are a hybrid attack and are a threat to our people and security, and we will not tolerate them.’

Most large airports are able to have planes land without GPS, but Tartu’s airport requires GPS signal for the aircraft to land – meaning the planes had to turn back to Helsinki.

The flight map showed how the plane was forced to turn back (Picture: Flight Radar)

The Nordics have been targeted by Russia for years (Picture: Getty)

Russia is suspected to have been targeting aircraft systems for years, but only recently caught attention for affecting RyanAir, Wizz-Air, British Airlines, Easyjet, TUI and Jet2.

Between August 2023 and March 2024 alone, 46,000 flights in areas such as the Baltic, Black Sea and eastern Mediterranean logged interference issues.

RyanAir had 2,300 flights affected, Wizz-Air recorded 1,300 flights jammed and British Airlines, Easyjet, TUI and Jet2 were also affected.

Chatham House Russian expert Keir Giles, who is familiar with planes, previously spoke to about how disrupting electronic systems is one way Russia can practise for war with Nato.

More Trending

Read More Stories

He added: ‘If Russia found itself able to deny GPS services not just for aircraft but also for ground transport, this would immediately sow chaos. What we have seen over the last few months is Russia practicing immobilizing Europe.

‘But those who are most directly affected are the countries closest to the jamming or the aircraft flying overhead. As a result, most of Europe has barely noticed.

‘Normalisation is bad. This is just a symptom of how much Russia does damage to our countries, ordinary people and businesses – and costs us. But nobody knows what’s happening – or pretends they don’t.’

Norway has been campaigning for something to be done –first bringing up the issue in a meeting with Russian officials in 2019.

Get in touch with our news team by emailing us at

For more stories like this, check our news page.

(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *