Daily Management Review

Lufthansa And Swiss Airlines Stops Flights To The Ukraine Capital Over Russia Tensions


Lufthansa And Swiss Airlines Stops Flights To The Ukraine Capital Over Russia Tensions
Due to mounting worries of a Russian invasion of Ukraine, European airlines Lufthansa and Swiss Air Lines have ceased to operate flights to Kyiv, Ukraine's capital, beginning Monday. Lufthansa, a German airline, announced it will also suspend flights to Odessa, a vital Black Sea port.
"The safety of our passengers and crew members is our top priority at all times," said Lufthansa.
Boris Johnson, the British Prime Minister, said on Sunday that Russia is preparing "the largest conflict in Europe since 1945." KLM, a Dutch airline, said last week that it was stopping flights to Kyiv.
The stoppage of Lufthansa flights is scheduled to last until the end of February. Swiss Air Lines, a Lufthansa Group affiliate, announced on Sunday that it will cease flights to Kyiv beginning Monday and continuing until February 28. Both Lufthansa and Swiss have stated that they are constantly monitoring the situation and are in contact with national and international authorities.
"The safety of our passengers and crew members has top priority at all times... The affected customers will be informed accordingly,” Swiss added.
"Affected guests will be informed and rebooked on alternative flight connections," said a spokesperson for Lufthansa.
Every week, the airline flies 74 flights to Ukraine under the Lufthansa brand or through its sister carriers, which include Austrian Airlines, Eurowings, and Swiss. Lufthansa announced it would keep flying to Lviv, Ukraine's westernmost city. Evidence implies that Russia plans to conduct an invasion that will envelop Kyiv, Johnson told the BBC.
"All the signs are that the plan has already in some senses begun," he said.
Last week, Ryanair and Wizz Air, which also operates flights to Ukraine, announced that they would continue to do so. Ryanair, followed by Wizz Air, is the major airline that flies between Europe and Ukraine.
Wizz Air said in a statement on Sunday that it was closely monitoring the situation and advised travellers to check their inboxes for further information concerning booked flights on a frequent basis.
"Currently, we have not made any changes to our schedule and all of our flights to/from Ukraine continue to operate as normal," said a Wizz Air spokesperson.
"It is important not to panic. Is it our duty and obligation to support the people of Ukraine as long as there is no war or missiles flying there," Ryanair's chief executive Michael O'Leary said last week..
British nationals "should leave while commercial options remain", advised the UK's Foreign Office. "In the event of a military incursion, it is likely that commercial routes out of Ukraine will be severely disrupted and roads across Ukraine could be closed," it said.
The Ukrainian administration promised last week to keep the country's airspace open. It claimed it was willing to take on financial responsibilities for flight safety, citing increased insurance prices as a reason for airlines continuing to fly into the region.
Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 was shot down in July 2014 while flying towards the combat zone in eastern Ukraine. On the aircraft from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur, all 298 passengers and crew members were slain. There were 80 children among the victims.
The jet crashed after being hit by a Russian-made Buk missile, according to the Dutch Safety Board.