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By Sohail Sawlani





Flights Cancelled, Dozens Stranded Due to Ongoing War Between Ukraine and Russia


UKRAINE & RUSSIA, FEBRUARY 2022 | Due to the ongoing war between Ukraine and Russia, dozens have been left stranded in the countries due to flights being cancelled and airspace being closed.

On Thursday morning, Russia launched an attack on Ukraine, marking the start of the war. This triggered a series of flight cancellations from airlines including Qatar Airways, Wizz Air, Turkish Airlines and many more.

Prior to the incident, airlines such as KLM cancelled these flights as tensions were escalating between both countries, which could have resulted in aircraft being shot down.

Later that day, to prevent damage to aircraft, Ukranian officials closed the country's airspace to commercial flights.

A LOT Polish Airlines Boeing 787 | © LOT



Around the same time, the EASA warned pilots to stay at least 100 nautical miles away from the the countries' borders. This was followed by a closure of airspace in Western Russia.

Pilots on active flights heading towards the restricted airspaces were informed by NOTAM (Notice to Airmen or Notice to Air Missions) to divert or head back to destination airport.

This decision was made to avoid any MH17 incidents during the war. In 2014, MH17 was flying over Ukranian airspace, when it got lost and subsequently shot down. All 283 passengers and 15 crew perished and debris was found scattered in eastern Ukraine.

Debris of MH17 after it crashed in Ukraine | © Unknown Source



At the time of the announcement, a LOT Polish Airlines flight was en-route to Kyiv but was later sent back to Warsaw due to the notice.

Postal carriers, such as UPS have reportedly transitioned to alternative flight routing due to fears of being shot down.

Now you may ask, what happens to those who are left stranded in Ukraine? Fret not, repatriation flight efforts are currently undergoing. Several flights have already departed, even prior to the attacks. For example, Air India repatriation flights departed on February 22 to carry Indian nationals back from Ukraine.

An image of Ukraine and part of Russia's airspace is shown below, taken using FlightRadar24. As you can see, the airspace is completely deserted, except for several non-commercial aircraft.

Ukraine and Russia airspace as seen by FlightRadar24| © Taken using FlightRadar24



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Written by: Sohail Sawlani
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