Crisis in Russia begins to disrupt air travel in Ukraine as insurers drop part of plane cover

A Ukraine International Airlines passenger plane seen as Turkey’s first official viewing area was put into operation for aviation enthusiasts and photographers at Istanbul Airport in Istanbul, Turkey, on June 25, 2021.

Mehmed Eser | Anadolu Agency | Getty Images

Ukraine International Airlines said on Monday it was moving some of its planes to Spain after insurance companies refused to cover operations in Ukrainian airspace amid rising tensions with Russia.

The Kyiv-based carrier said it sent five Boeing 737s to Spain at the request of its aircraft leasing company after receiving “official notification from insurance companies to end aircraft insurance for flights in the airspace of Ukraine”. The carrier has a fleet of 25 planes, according to its website.

Other disruptions resulting from the crisis include KLM Royal Dutch Airlines’ announcement on Saturday that it was suspending flights to Ukraine until further notice.

The country’s infrastructure ministry said on Sunday that Ukrainian airspace remained open and “most airlines continue to operate without restrictions”, although it noted that some airlines had had problems with insurers.

“For its part, the state is ready to support the airlines and plans to provide additional financial guarantees to support the airline market,” he said.

Ukrainian International Airlines’ announcement came after another carrier in the country, SkyUp Airlines, said one of its Portugal-Ukraine flights over the weekend was forced to land in Moldova under the of the company from which he leased his planes. He also said he would suspend ticket sales but said on Monday they had resumed.

“Negotiations with insurers have been difficult, and our overseas partners continue to regularly assess their own risks and monitor the situation,” the SkyUp CEO said in a statement Monday. However, now, thanks to the joint efforts of the Ukrainian Ministry of Infrastructure and the government, we have managed to achieve results: flights to Ukraine remain safe and secure. »

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