The UK government has told airlines to avoid flying over Belarusian airspace after a Ryanair flight destined for Lithuania was forcibly diverted to Minsk so that Roman Protasevich, an opposition journalist, could be arrested. 

Western nations have been queueing up to condemn the incident which Michael O’Leary, Ryanair’s CEO, called “state-sponsored hijacking, state-sponsored piracy”.

Dominic Raab, the Foreign Secretary, described the scrambling of a Belarusian jet to intercept the aircraft, citing a bomb threat, as “a shocking assault on civil aviation and an assault on international law”.