Brussels Airlines flight SN465 to Kigali returns to Brussels via Vienna after closure of Sudan’s airspace


Sudan’s military seized power from President Omar al-Bashir. Defence Minister declared the Sudanese leader ‘toppled’, announced the suspension of the constitution and a two-year military rule.

One of the first decisions of the new military rulers was to close Sudan’s airspace for at least 24 hours.

As a consequence of the coup, Brussels Airlines flight SN465 operated by Airbus A330-200 registered OO-SFY, which was on its way to Kigali, was forced to return to Brussels while it was flying over the Red Sea off the Egyptian coast, near the Sudanese border.

Brussels Airlines spokesperson Kim Daenen contacted by said that there was no there option than to return to Brussels, by lack of authorisations to overfly other countries in the region. Brussels Airlines is now looking for rebooking possibilities for the 214 passengers onboard.

However, this was not the end of the story for the unfortunate passengers. On the way back to Brussels, the aircraft made an additional fuel stop in Vienna where it landed at 19:00 after strong headwinds. The plane departed from Vienna around 22:00 to land at its Brussels home at 23:30, approximately 13 hours after its departure. A long trip to come back to its departure point!


  1. But other flights seem to be going around Sudan, especially KLM539 also to Kigali, so why did SN465 turn around. Must be some other reason.

  2. Interestingly the KL flight to Kigali, as well as a BA and KQ flight to NBO, all operating about the same time as SN & LH continued down the Red Sea then Eritrea/Ethiopia, and reached destination with a delay of less than an hour. The ‘no other choice’ mentioned by the SN spokesperson does not sound too convincing, I really wonder what was the decision making process there… LH diverted to CAI.


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