Ukraine has claimed that about ten airlines have ceased operations in the country in response to US warnings of an impending invasion by Russian troops massed on its border. However, it maintains that aviation lanes remain accessible and that traveling to the East European nation is secure.
Lufthansa, the German airline, has announced that it would suspend flights to Ukraine starting on Monday, following KLM, which has already done so. In accordance with current expectations, Lufthansa’s suspension will last through the end of February.
In a statement, a spokeswoman for the German airline said that “the safety of our passengers and staff members is our top concern at all times.”
Air France has decided to postpone Tuesday flights between Paris and Kyiv as a “precautionary step,” while the Scandinavian firm SAS has also canceled weekly flights between the two cities.
Earlier this week, Ryanair, the largest airline operating flights between Europe and Ukraine, said that it intends to continue operations in the nation. The flight cancellations came as the United Kingdom’s Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, warned on Sunday that Russia is preparing “the largest conflict in Europe since 1945.”
According to Infrastructure Minister Oleksander Kubrakov, “the present cancellation of flights by a number of international airlines is determined exclusively by the information exacerbation of the situation, and not by actual changes in flight safety.”
Currently, a lot of international airlines are canceling flights because to information aggravation, rather than actual improvements in flight safety, which is driving the present trend.
He did not identify the airlines, but he did say that “the state is trying to replace flights that have been canceled.”
Ukraine International Airlines (UIA), according to Kubrakov, has already begun selling tickets and has extended the capacity of its aircraft to accommodate more flights from Kyiv to Munich and Geneva, which Lufthansa was unable to fly due to the strike.
According to the UIA, 13 aircraft were still in service. In all, the airline has 26 aircraft in its fleet, but nine of them departed the nation last week for storage facilities in Europe, with seven of them departing on the 14th of February alone, according to flight monitoring data from Flightradar24.
Efforts to prevent a confrontation via diplomatic means
The exodus began after two Ukrainian airlines revealed that they were having difficulties obtaining insurance for some of their flights at a time when Russia is massing a massive military force on its border.
On Monday, Russia and Ukraine both hinted at further diplomatic attempts to prevent a clash, but Ukraine’s largest airline claimed its underwriters had already suspended coverage for at least part of its planes flying inside Ukrainian air territory.
One insurance company, on the other hand, disputed that airlines were withdrawing out because of a lack of coverage. According to Bruce Carman, chief underwriting officer of Hive Aero in London, “we continue to support a large number of airlines who operate into the area.”