A senior Ukrainian official stated that Ukraine doesn’t see the point in closing its airspace as a result of Russia’s escalation. This was after the United States had warned that Russian troops could invade eastern Europe, at any moment.
KLM, a Dutch carrier, said that it would cease flying to Ukraine on Saturday. SkyUp, meanwhile said that it had to divert one of its planes from Ukraine after the owner of the leased aircraft prohibited the flight from entering Ukrainian airspace.
“The most important thing is that Ukraine doesn’t see any point in closing down the sky. This is absurd. It is absurd.
He stated to Reuters that “if particular air carriers decide to reconfigure their flight schedule, it certainly has nothing do with the policies or decisions of our state.”
The United States and its Western allies have been reducing or evacuating embassy staff, and have advised their citizens to avoid travelling to Ukraine during the standoff.
Washington claimed that the Russian military, with more than 100,000 troops near Ukraine, could invade any time. Moscow denies any such plan and described such warnings as “hysteria”.
SkyUp airlines stated in a statement, that the plane carrying 175 passengers from Portugal had to land in Moldova instead of continuing to Ukraine because the Irish-based owner of the leased plane prevented it from entering Ukrainian airspace. The company did not provide further information.
KLM, a part of Air France said that it would cease flying to Ukraine immediately. ANP, a news agency, reported.
Two-thirds of the 298 Malaysia Airlines MH17 passengers who were killed in an air crash over eastern Ukraine during 2014 when it flew between Amsterdam and Kuala Lumpur was Dutch citizens.
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