As tensions increase, airlines operating in Ukraine are facing many challenges concerning safety, insurance, diversion, repatriation, and other problems. In this article, you can find some of the latest information related to commercial aviation.
Ukraine International Airlines
The country’s flag carrier airline confirmed this Monday, it had received official notification from insurers terminating cover of aircraft for its flights in Ukrainian airspace. With this, the UIA has sent 5 Boeing 737-800 jets to long-term storage in Castellon, Spain, other two planes have been sent to Serbia for scheduled maintenance.
The UIA fleet includes 25 jets of various modifications: 1 Boeing 777-200ER, 1 Boeing 767-300ER, 16 Boeing-737 NGs, 5 Embraer-190, and 2 ERJ 195.
“UIA is making efforts and is constantly negotiating with insurance companies, the Ministry of Infrastructure of Ukraine, the state aviation administration and hopes for mutual understanding,”Ukraine International Airlines
Ukraine’s government announced today that allocated $590 million in funds to cover insurance for aircraft operating within the country, this measure is intended to protect the country’s airlines after the loss of insurance coverage over the risk of armed conflict. At least 23 aircraft are covered by the funds, which will be returned to the budget if they are unused.
“This decision is a signal to the international community that Ukraine is ready to assume financial obligations for the safety of aircraft in Ukrainian airspace. Most flights to and from Ukraine are being conducted normally”infrastructure minister Alexander Kubrakov
KLM was the first airline worldwide to stop the flights to Ukraine. At the end of January, the airline announced the cancellation of overnight stays of its crew members in Kyiv and on 12th Feb made the decision to stop flying its two-daily flights between Amsterdam and Kyiv until further notice.
KLM already stopped flying over the eastern regions of Ukraine and Crimea since 2014, when Malaysia Airlines MH17 was shut down by missile.
On Saturday, a SkyUp Boeing 737-800 en route from Madeira, Portugal to Kyiv was forced to land in Chisinau, Moldava with 175 passengers after the plane’s Irish leasing company owner said it was banning its aircraft operating in Ukrainian airspace.
The current situation requires a solution at the state level. Now we are working together with state authorities to find solutions. We are doing everything possible to continue to operate flights on a regular basis, but we cannot ignore the demands of lessors. We have temporarily stopped the sale of tickets for flights from February 14 to 16, 2022, and are waiting for a solution to the situation.
Dmytro Seroukhov, CEO at SkyUp Airlines
Today, Norwegian decided to avoid Ukraine’s airspace until further notice, the airline doesn’t fly directly to any airports in Ukraine, but some of it overfly western parts of Ukrainian airspace like the ones to Turkey.
“We made this decision based on a comprehensive safety assessment. That is why we decided to suspend flights over Ukraine. Safety always comes first”
Three weeks ago Lufthansa rescheduled the flights from Munich and Frankfurt to Kyiv-Boryspil Airport ending the overnight parking – lands at 23:30 and departures around 02:00 – for fear of a Russian invasion that could mean that crews and planes could be caught up in any military action.
Repatriation And Extra Flights
Air Arabia and Royal Air Marroc announced this 14th February repatriation flights connecting Kyiv to Tangier and Casablanca respectively on February 15, this comes after Morroco urged nationals living in Ukraine to leave the country.
Also today, Riga-based airBaltic announced that will operate two additional flights departing from Kyiv, Ukraine, to Riga, Latvia on February 15 and 16. The airline also plans to perform direct flights from Kyiv to Vilnius on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday as well as Odesa to Riga on Saturday.
Cover Photo by Marvin Mutz