Ryanair, one of Europe’s leading budget airlines, which currently flies to 37 countries with over 2,500 routes, has announced that it will continue flying to Ukraine as long as Russia doesn’t invade and European authorities give the all-clear.Ryanair, one of Europe’s leading budget airlines, which currently flies to 37 countries with over 2,500 routes, has announced that it will continue flying to Ukraine as long as Russia doesn’t invade and European authorities give the all-clear.

CEO of Ryanair, Michael O’Leary © Creative Commons
CEO of Ryanair, Michael O’Leary © Creative Commons

Lisbon Press Conference

Michael O’Leary, CEO of Ryanair since 1994, said in a press conference in Lisbon that the airline is reviewing the situation daily. However, the UK government and Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) advise against all travel to Ukraine.

“Is it our duty and obligation… to support the people of Ukraine as long as there is no war or missiles flying there” O’Leary added, “People need to get home and people want to leave and fly abroad to the EU … airlines have to provide that service.”

Ryanair’s Future in Ukraine

Last month, Ryanair announced that if tensions between Russia and Ukraine reduce, it could base up to 20 aircraft in Ukraine in the coming years. Starting this summer, Ryanair also hopes to fly 230 flights per week from three airports in Ukraine.

WizzAir is also continuing to fly to Ukraine. However, KLM, FlyDubai and Vueling have suspended all flights to Ukraine until further notice.

Ukraine’s Pledge

Ukraine has promised to keep its commercial airspace open, and Prime Minister Denys Shmygal also revealed that the government has pledged 16.6 billion Hryvnia (equivalent to £438 million) towards efforts of continuing to allow flights through its airspace and guarantees for insurance companies. Shmygal added, “This decision will stabilise the situation on the market of passenger air transportation and will guarantee the return to Ukraine of our citizens who are currently abroad.”

 

Do you think Ryanair has made the right decision in continuing flights? Let us know in the comments below.

 

 

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