Ukraine has set aside almost $600 million in an effort to stabilise the aviation industry across the unsettled country.
Fears are mounting over a potential invasion by the country’s easterly neighbour Russia and this has led to more and more airlines reducing, or in some cases completely withdrawing, services.
Ukrainian Prime Minister, Denys Shmyhal, said the funds were allocated “to ensure flight safety in Ukraine for insurance and leasing companies” and “will guarantee the return to Ukraine of our citizens who are currently abroad”.
War risks not covered, insurers told
The announcement comes in the wake of reports that London-based insurers have withdrawn coverage for aircraft entering Ukrainian airspace. Ukrainian insurance companies are also reporting to have been advised by reinsurers that airlines are not covered for war-related risks.
Dutch-carrier KLM earlier this week withdrew all services operating in the country, and a SkyUp charter was diverted after the plane’s Irish owner banned his aircraft from flying over Ukrainian airspace.
Rumours were circling over the weekend that a nationwide airspace closure was imminent, but Ukrainian officials have denied such a move this morning. Mustafa Nayyem, Deputy Infrastructure Minister, said on Facebook that “closing the airspace is a sovereign right of Ukraine and the government has not taken this decision”.
“Stay calm”, urge airport officials
Nayyem continued by pointing out the majority of airlines remained operating and that the primary issue was that of insurance. He was quick to offer reassurance though, adding that “the state is ready to support airlines and plans to offer additional financial guarantees to support the air travel market”.
Concerted efforts to remain level-headed are evident, with Ukraine’s busiest airport, Boryspil in Kyiv, releasing a statement urging people to “stay calm, and watch for possible changes in the schedule”. It added that as of Sunday, “almost all flights are on schedule and without changes”.
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