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How does the war in Ukraine affect flights?

Following the invasion of Ukraine, European Union member countries closed their airspace to Russian airlines and Russian-owned and operated aircraft.
How does the war in Ukraine affect flights?
In response to the EU ban, Russia has closed its airspace to flights from the European Union and other countries that have taken the same measures, including the United States and Canada, for a total of 36 countries banned from flying over Russian territory. So what are the consequences for air travelers?

Cancellation of flights to and from Russia

The most immediate effect is obviously on flights to and from Russia. The closure of airspace to Russian companies by an increasing number of countries in the world has caused numerous cancellations. The closure of airspace, in fact, not only prevents landing in the destination country, but also just flying over it in passing. This has led to Russian companies, such as Aeroflot, having to cancel entire routes.

Longer routes

Another consequence of the airspace closure is the need to modify the usual routes of some flights, adding flight time and, consequently, fuel requirements.

Flights to Asia by companies excluded from Russian airspace, for example, must take a longer route south to avoid Russian airspace. This could affect the prices of flights to Asian destinations. Same consequence for all routes that used Ukrainian airspace, now obviously closed.

Closure of airspace in some Eastern European countries

The risk for flights to Eastern Europe is to be accidentally involved in the fighting. Despite the fact that Ukrainian airspace is closed, other neighboring countries have had to ban aircraft from their skies for safety reasons (e.g. Moldova and partially Belarus).

This does not prevent flying in other major Eastern European countries, such as Poland and Hungary, which are considered non-risk countries and are still open to commercial and tourist flights.

How long will flights be affected?

The situation in Ukraine is in rapid and constant evolution. For this reason, unfortunately, it is unclear how long the airspace closure will remain in effect and for which countries. 

If you are planning a trip to Russia or to Eastern European countries, our advice is to contact the airline with which you intend to travel in order to receive precise information.

We also advise you to have a look at the government websites of your country and of the destination country, where you can find information directly provided by the local authorities on the travel conditions.
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