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Ukraine vows to keep airspace open despite Russia threat

February 15, 2022 People's Journal 255 views

AFP — Ukraine on Sunday vowed to keep its airspace open to international travel despite Western warnings that Russian troops conducting drills near its borders could invade at any point.

The Dutch carrier KLM on Saturday became the first major airline to indefinitely suspend flights to the former Soviet republic because of the rising risks.

Ukraine’s budget airline SkyUp said on Sunday that its flight from Portugal to Kyiv was forced to land in Moldova because the plane’s Irish leasing company had revoked permission for it to cross into Ukraine.

“The airspace over Ukraine remains open and the state is working on preempting risks for airlines,” the infrastructure ministry said after convening an emergency meeting focused on the threat of Ukraine being cut off from international flights.

Industry analysts believe other international airlines may soon also ban flights into Ukraine because of the growing cost to travel insurers.

The travel industry is still haunted by the memory of Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 being shot down while flying near eastern Ukraine’s conflict zone in July 2014.

All 298 passengers aboard the Amsterdam-Kuala Lumpur flight died.

Ukraine’s infrastructure ministry acknowledged that “some carriers are facing difficulties linked to fluctuations on the insurance market”.