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Dublin: 15°C Thursday 18 August 2022

Ryanair suspends Ukrainian flights as country's airspace closes to civilian operators

A number of the country’s airports have reportedly come under attack in the past few hours.

Image: Alamy

UKRAINE’S AIRSPACE HAS been closed to civilian flights amid what has been described as a ‘full-scale’ Russian invasion of the country.

Kyiv’s main international airport had also come under a Russian bombing attack, Ukrainian defence officials said.

A number of the country’s other airports have also reportedly come under attack in the past few hours.

Ryanair said flights were suspended for the next fortnight.

The airline said: “Due to the closure of Ukrainian airspace overnight and the apparent invasion by Russian forces, all Ryanair flights to/from Ukraine have been suspended for at least the next 14 days.

All affected passengers will receive email notices later this morning and all flights to/from Ukraine have been removed from sale for at least the next four weeks until further information becomes available from EU safety agencies.
Ryanair remains committed to our services to/from Ukraine and we look forward to restoring flight services there as soon as it is safe to do so.
We sincerely regret and apologise for these unprecedented disruptions and any inconvenience that they will inevitably cause to our Ukrainian customers.

Russian troops carried out a widespread invasion across Ukraine last night, drawing condemnation from the international community and leading to casualties on both sides.

Irish citizens have been urged to shelter in a secure place.

“Do not move around the country in the coming hours, please follow the advice of local authorities,” the Department of Foreign Affairs tweeted.

Minister Simon Coveney told RTÉ’s Morning Ireland that the airspace over Ukraine is not safe and Irish citizens are advised to leave by road, although the advice is currently to take shelter.

Ryanair operates direct flights to Kyiv from Ireland. A number of operators had already cancelled flights – either travelling to Ukraine or through Ukrainian airspace – in recent days and weeks, but Ryanair continued to fly to the region.

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Images from the aviation website FlightRadar24 show there are no civilian aircraft in Ukrainian airspace.

Aircraft flying to or from UK airports are being ordered to avoid Ukraine airspace by British transport secretary Grant Shapps.

With additional reporting by AFP and Press Association

About the author:

Nicky Ryan

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