Due to mounting worries of a Russian invasion, Lufthansa and Swiss Air Lines will cease 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.
“At all times, the safety of our passengers and crew members is our top concern,” Lufthansa stated.
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, said 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.
Swiss continued: “At all instances, the safety of our passengers and crew members takes first… Customers that are affected will be notified as soon as possible.”
“Affected clients will be contacted and rebooked on alternative flight connections,” a Lufthansa representative said.
Every week, the airline flies 74 flights to Ukraine under the Lufthansa brand or through its sister airlines, which include Austrian Airlines, Eurowings, and Swiss.
Lufthansa announced it will keep flying to Lviv, Ukraine’s westernmost city.
Evidence shows that Russia aims to conduct an assault that would envelop Kyiv, Mr Johnson told reporters.
“All indications are that the plot has already begun in certain ways,” he stated.
Ryanair and Wizz Air also fly to Ukraine and said last week that they will 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 actively monitoring the situation and advised travellers to check their inboxes for more information concerning booked flights on a frequent basis.
“At this time, we have not made any modifications to our timetable, and all of our flights to and from Ukraine continue to operate as usual,” a Wizz Air representative stated.
“It is crucial not to panic,” Ryanair CEO Michael O’Leary remarked last week.
“As long as there is no war or missiles flying over Ukraine, is it our responsibility and obligation to help the people of Ukraine?”
The Foreign Office of the United Kingdom has recommended British citizens to “leave while commercial possibilities remain.”
“In the case of a military intervention, commercial routes out of Ukraine are likely to be significantly affected, and highways across Ukraine may be closed,” the report warned.
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 struck by a Russian-made Buk missile, according to the Dutch Safety Board.