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KLM Stops Flying to Ukraine

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Due to the increased threats of Russian military action, and warnings by the United States that a Russian invasion could happen at any time, KLM stops flying to Ukraine.

The flight to the capital Kyiv that is scheduled for Saturday, Feb 12, was canceled.

This decision follows the adjusted travel advice to code red and an extensive safety analysis. It is not yet clear when KLM will fly to Kiev again.

KLM has not been flying over the eastern regions of Ukraine and Crimea since 2014. There are now no more KLM flights through Ukrainian airspace until further notice.

KLM said that the company always puts the safety of passengers and employees first in the conduct of its operation. Choosing safe and optimal routes is a standard part of our daily practice. KLM uses a security management system to analyze risks in order to determine safe flight routes. This analysis also uses information that is shared within the Dutch expert group, which includes all Dutch airlines, the intelligence services, the Ministry of Defence, the Ministry of the Interior and Kingdom Relations, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, NCTV and the Ministry of Infrastructure and Water Management. The decision not to fly over or to a specific country is based on the most current analyzes at that time.

On Feb. 12, Ukrainian low-cost airline SkyUp aircraft UR-SQO, flying from Funchal (Madeira, Portugal) to Borispyil (Ukraine) with flight number PQ0902, was forced to land in Chisinau (Republic of Moldova) due to the lessor's ban. Despite all the efforts of the airline and the willingness of government agencies of Ukraine to contact the lessor, the owner of the aircraft flatly refused just at a time when the aircraft was already flying to Kyiv. 

The Ukrainian government said that most airlines continued to operate in the country, including 29 foreign airlines operating flights from 34 countries, and that the state was ready to support airlines and plans to provide financial support if insurance costs soared. The Ukrainian Ministry of Infrastructure announced that there are no plans to close airspace over Ukraine.

On February 12, 2022, the world's largest insurance companies informed Ukrainian air carriers that in 48 hours they would stop insuring aircraft for flights in Ukrainian airspace. This decision is associated with increased risks of military invasion.

Accordingly, aircraft owners — lessors — demand the return of aircraft to the EU as soon as possible. 

SkyUp said that the airline had suspended the sale of tickets for flights from Feb. 14 to Feb. 16, as they discussed the situation with the Ukrainian government.

"The current situation requires a solution at the state level. Now we are working together with state authorities to find solutions," says Dmytro Seroukhov, CEO at SkyUp Airlines. 

"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."

Following Arkia Airlines, El Al and Israir are now also offering rescue flights to Israelis in Ukraine as fears grow that a Russian invasion may be imminent.

 

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