Germany’s national carrier Lufthansa, along with the national carrier of Austria, Austrian Airlines and Swiss Airlines, has suspended flights to Kiev and the Black Sea city of Odessa amid fears of a Russian invasion of Ukraine.
Lufthansa’s decision that became effective on February 21 will remain in effect until February 28, while the airline has confirmed it will continue to operate its services to the Ukrainian city of Lviv, TheSchengen.com reports.
The airline indicated in this regard that “Lufthansa is constantly monitoring the situation and will decide on more flights at a later time.”
Due to the growing tensions between Russia and Ukraine, the authorities of the latter announced that a total of ten airlines in European countries have suspended or canceled flights to the country. However, the country’s government stressed that Ukrainian airspace remains open for commercial flights.
Ukraine has committed a total of $592m (£437m) to help keep flights from Ukraine and back, after concerns over Ukrainian airspace prompted some airlines to cancel or divert flights, the Guardian reported. .
“The funds are allocated to ensure the safety of aviation in Ukraine for insurance and leasing companies and will stabilize the situation in the passenger air transport market and will ensure the return of our citizens who are currently abroad to Ukraine,” said Ukrainian Prime Minister Denis Shmyhal, noting in this regard.
Dutch airline KLM also canceled flights to Ukraine after the country’s government issued a travel warning about the risks of flying in this region.
In addition, the French carrier also stressed that it would cancel flights to Kiev and vice versa as a “precautionary measure”.
“Air France will regularly reassess the situation and remember that the safety and security of its flights, customers and crew is imperative,” Air France said in a statement published earlier this week.
According to the authorities in the United States, a total of 190,000 Russians, as well as separatist forces, are positioned near the Ukrainian border, ready to launch an offensive.
For more than two months now, tensions have been rising between Ukraine and Russia. In November, the Russian government sent more than 100,000 soldiers to the common border with Ukraine, leading many people to believe in an invasion plot.
Despite continuous efforts to help solve the current problem, no significant progress has been observed in this regard.
Given the current situation in Ukraine, many European countries, including Switzerland, Ireland, the Netherlands, Norway, Latvia and France, have called on their citizens not to travel to this country.