As tensions rise over Ukraine, many airlines are restricting or suspending flights into the country despite government efforts to keep the airspace open.
On Monday, Air France said it would cancel flights to and from Kyiv scheduled for Tuesday because of security concerns caused by Russia’s military buildup on the Ukraine border.
The airline, which currently operates round-trip flights between Paris and Kyiv on Tuesdays and Sundays, said the cancellations were a “precautionary measure” and that the company would “regularly reassess the situation.” .
Also starting Monday, German carrier Lufthansa suspended flights to Kyiv and the Ukrainian city of Odessa until the end of the month. The suspension also applies to flights operated by Austrian Airlines and Swiss International Air Lines, both of which are part of the Lufthansa Group.
A Lufthansa spokesman said flights to Lviv, western Ukraine, would continue to operate regularly.
“The safety of our passengers and crew members is our top priority at all times,” Lufthansa said in a statement.
Scandinavian airline, known as SAS, canceled its weekly flight from Oslo to Kyiv scheduled for Tuesday. John Eckhoff, a spokesman for the airline, said the airline would reassess the situation before deciding whether to resume flights next week.
Airlines began restricting flights to Ukraine on February 12, when Dutch airline KLM suspended them indefinitely, citing safety concerns. That same day, Ukraine’s low-cost airline SkyUp was forced to land in Moldova because insurance companies said it would stop insuring planes for flights over Ukraine, and the company has suspended ticket sales.
With airlines fearful of what happened in 2014 – when a missile was fired from territory controlled by Russian-backed separatists down a Malaysia Airlines planekills all 298 on board – Ukrainian authorities emphasize that the country’s airspace remained open, and tried to reassure industry. Prime Minister of Ukraine, Denys Shmyhal, on February 13 announced the creation of a fund worth $ 590 million to pay for insurance so that flights can continue over Ukrainian airspace.
Ukraine International Airlines said on February 14 that although Insurance companies will stop insuring planes for flights over Ukraine will continue to operate normal flights thanks to cooperation with the government.
Other airlines such as Wizz Air and Ryanair continue to operate flights to the country.
https://www.nytimes.com/2022/02/21/world/europe/ukraine-flights.html Limited Air France, Lufthansa and SAS flights to Ukraine