For the remainder of February 2022, the Spanish low-cost carrier Vueling, part of the IAG group, has canceled all eight direct flights from Paris-Orly Airport (ORY) to and from Kyiv-Boryspil International Airport (KBP).
The decision follows the tense diplomatic situation in the region. “We are in constant contact with the authorities and we take action based on what they tell us,” a Vueling spokesperson told Reuters. British Airlines, another company part of IAG group, has previously modified its routes towards Asia to avoid the Ukrainian airspace.
On February 12, 2022, Dutch flag carrier KLM was the first to announce it would suspend all flights to Boryspil International Airport (KBP) in Kyiv, Ukraine until further notice. “This decision follows the adjusted travel advice to code red and an extensive safety analysis,” the air carrier explained.
For many pilots, the situation is reminiscent of when Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 was shot down in the summer of 2014 over eastern Ukraine.
On February 1, 2021, the International Federation of Air Line Pilots’ Associations (IFALPA) and the European Cockpit Association (ECA) called on states to close airspace or ban aircraft from flying over high-risk areas.
Insurance companies informed Ukrainian air carriers that they would stop insuring aircraft for flights in Ukrainian airspace. However, the Ukrainian authorities remain determined to keep their airspace open. Funds were earmarked from the state budget to cover the insurance of flights in the country’s airspace.