the french airline air France announced on Monday the suspension of the two flights it had planned this Tuesday to and from Kiev “as a precaution”, given the situation in Ukraine. In turn, the companies of the group of Lufthansa They decided to temporarily cancel most of their flights to the country as of Monday, while the Ukrainian government assured that the flights are safe despite increased tensions.
The French company said in a statement that it regularly follows the situation in that country and that it will adapt to it. Air France justified this decision because “the safety of flights, customers and crew is an absolute imperative.”
Until now, the French airline had two weekly connections with Kiev, one on Tuesdays and one on Sundays. The decision comes a week after the Dutch airline KLM, with which Air France has an alliance, suspended its flights to Kiev from Amsterdam, while signaling that its planes would not fly over Ukrainian airspace.
While, Lufthansa, a group to which the German airline Lufthansa, the Austrian Austrian Airlines, the Swiss Swiss, Brussels Airlines and Eurowings belong, has reported that its airlines cancel regular flights to Kiev and Odessa until the end of February. However, they maintain regular flights to Lviv (Lviv), a city in western Ukraine.
Lufthansa airline flies to Kiev and Lviv; Swiss to Kiev; Austrian Airlines to Kiev, Lviv and Odessa and Erowings to Kiev. A week ago the Lufthansa group decided to maintain flights to its destinations in Ukraine, Kiev, Lviv and Odessa, but has now canceled them due to the fear that the deployment of Russian soldiers on the border with Ukraine is the prelude to a war.
The antecedent that concerns companies is that of the Malaysia Airlines flight MH17, shot down on July 17, 2014 by a missile fired from the pro-Russian separatist zone in eastern Ukraine. 298 people died in the event and despite the conviction in the European courts, Moscow never accepted responsibility for having provided the weapons and personnel to assist the militiamen who allegedly used them.
call to calm
Ukraine’s Infrastructure Minister Oleksandr Kubrakov declared on Monday that the situation in the country’s airspace is under control and flights are safe despite increased military tensions.
“Despite all the media attacks, Ukraine’s airspace remains open. Today the situation in the Ukrainian airspace is stable and under control. Flight safety is fully guaranteed”, Kubrakov said at a press appearance.
He added that the only exception is the airspace over the Black Sea, where “illegal (naval) exercises of the Russian Federation take place.”
These restrictions, the minister stressed, “are not critical for flights over the territory of Ukraine.”
“I can confirm that there is air communication between Ukraine and all key European cities thanks to operational contacts between Ukrainian and foreign companies,” Kubrakov stressed, indicating that there is no “cardinal change in the dynamics of flights to and from Ukraine.” .
In this sense, he added that the Ministry of Infrastructure is carrying out negotiations to establish additional flights on the routes in which foreign companies have canceled theirs.
According to Kubrakov, the cancellation of the flights has to do with the information about the aggravation of the situation, but “not with real changes in flight safety.”
“Today about ten airlines have made changes to their plans … Some have canceled flights for a period, such as the Lufthansa group,” the director of Kiev’s Boryspil international airport, Oleksy Dubrebsky, was quoted as saying by the Urkinform agency.
He added that along with flight cancellations, the airport almost immediately receives requests for other flights for other dates.
“I think the situation is becoming politicized. The skies of Ukraine are not closed and we are able to provide a high level of safety for flights and passengersDubrevsky stressed.
(With information from AFP and EFE)
Belarus did not give deadlines for the withdrawal of Putin’s troops: “It will depend on what the West does”
Josep Borrell asked to use all available diplomatic tools to avoid a war