As tensions escalate with Russia over Ukraine, many countries have advised their citizens to leave Ukraine as soon as possible. But what options are available for commercial air travel?
The situation became more dramatic on the evening of February 21, 2022 after Russian President Vladimir Putin declared two regions of Ukraine – Donetsk and Luhansk – as independent.
The UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office reminded its citizens to leave Ukraine immediately on February 22, 2022.
“All Brits should leave Ukraine now via commercial routes while they are still available,” the FCO recommended.
However, some major carriers have already suspended flights to the capital. Air France-KLM and Lufthansa Group airlines, including Lufthansa (LHAB) (LHA), Swiss and Austrian Airlines, have halted flights to Kyiv Boryspil International Airport (KBP) as a result of the situation. Vueling also canceled flights from Paris to Kyiv.
Ukraine has declared that its airspace is safe and open, except for the Crimean and eastern regions that have been subject to restrictions since Russia annexed Crimea in 2014. But a look at flight tracking service Flightradar24 shows air traffic avoiding the general airspace of Ukraine, except for those flights operating directly to and from Ukraine.
Snapshot of flights over Ukraine on Feb 22., 2022. Courtesy of <a href=”https://www.flightradar24.com/”>Flightradar24.com</a>
So, which carriers are still flying to major airports in Ukraine, including Kyiv, Lviv, Odessa and Kharkiv? AeroTime takes a look at the departure boards for February 22 and February 23, 2022.
Kyiv Boryspil International Airport (KBP)
The country’s flag carrier, Ukrainian International Airlines, is continuing to operate international flights, including to Tel Aviv, Istanbul, Amsterdam, Vilnius, Prague and Barcelona although a flight to Paris has been canceled for February 23, 2022.
Latvian carrier airbaltic said it was suspending overnight flights to and from Ukraine until the end of February 2022 but is continuing to operate flights from Kyiv to both Riga and Vilnius.
Irish low-cost carrier Ryanair continues to operate, with flights to and from Malta, Barcelona, Milan, Rome, Wroclaw and Vienna.
Turkish Airlines is still running flights to Istanbul, while Turkish low-cost carrier Pegasus is flying to Ankara. Ukrainian carrier SkyUp has flights to Sharm-el Sheikh and Hurghada in Egypt, Funchal in Portugal, as well as Istanbul. You can also currently take FlyDubai to Dubai or Qatar Airways to Doha, plus AirArabia is flying to Sharjah.
Danylo Halytskyi International Airport Lviv (LWO)
From LWO, Wizz is flying to London, Poznan and Memmingen in Germany. Polish LOT is flying to Warsaw.
Turkish Airlines is flying to Istanbul, as is compatriot Pegasus.
Ryanair is still active from LWO as well, with flights to London, Naples and Budapest scheduled for February 23, 2022.
Odessa International Airport (ODS)
Looking at departures information, Qatar Airways is flying to Doha from ODS, while Turkish Airlines is flying to its home base in IST. LOT also has a flight to Warsaw from ODS.
Ryanair is operating to and from Odessa as well, with flights to Poznan, Krakow, Rome and Bologna showing.
Kharkiv International Airport (HRK)
At HRK, in the east of Ukraine, options are more limited when it comes to flights. Departures information shows Wizz Air to Larnaca and Wroclaw, while both Turkish Airlines and Pegasus have routes to Istanbul.