Travel Radar brings you a live timeline of this breaking news from Ukraine:
00:45GMT Early this morning at 00:45GMT the Ukrainian State Air Traffic Services Enterprise issued a short statement declaring the suspension of Ukrainian airspace for all civilian flights, due to the “high risk of aviation security”. This prohibits all non-military aircraft from flying over Ukraine for the foreseeable future. The news comes only a day after the state body declared that Ukrainian airspace was “controlled and stable” with “flight safety fully ensured”.
03:46GMT following Ukraine’s airspace closure, the European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) publishes a Conflict Zone information Bulletin recommending that operators “exercise extreme caution and avoid using the airspace within 100NM of the Bielorussian and Russia-Ukraine border”.
#EASA has published a Conflict Zone Information Bulletin (CZIB) with respect to #Ukraine, which is now an active conflict area. https://t.co/CnsC7Lpzed
— EASA (@EASA) February 24, 2022
03:55GMT Russian President Putin addresses the nation on state television. The leader declares a “special military operation” in the Donbas region of Ukraine, and that he will “Strive for the demilitarization and denazification of Ukraine”. Shortly after the speech, explosions can be heard near major Ukrainian cities such as Kyiv, Kharkiv, Mariupol and Dnipro.
05:02GMT Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenksy makes a national address announcing the invasion and confirming reports of missile strikes on Ukrainian infrastructure.
❗️ Звернення Президента Володимира Зеленського pic.twitter.com/oQ1bsB6Ow8
— Defense of Ukraine (@DefenceU) February 24, 2022
06:43GMT Wizz Air publishes a press release to say they will be temporarily suspending all flights to Ukraine. Wizz air has been one of the last western airlines to retain its Ukrainian flights this past week, whilst other major carriers such as KLM pulled out early on.
06:48GMT airBaltic publishes press releases suspending all flights to Ukraine until March 13 2022. Earlier this month the airline announced they would be increasing flights to Ukraine in response to other airlines cancelling flights. A few days ago the airline revealed that it would be adjusting its flight timings so that no aircraft would be left on the ground in Ukraine overnight. This seems to have paid off for them, however other carriers haven’t been so fortunate.
09:24GMT Ryanair publishes a press release suspending all flights to Ukraine for 14 days. The Airline had announced earlier this month that it would continue flying out to Ukraine, but later said that it would be limiting its exposure to Ukrainian airspace wherever possible.
10:00GMT Ukraine’s neighbour Moldova announces it will be closing its airspace. The Republic of Moldova Civil Aviation Authority said that aircraft due to land at Chisinau International Airport will be directed to reserve airports.
The Russian missile strikes have been attacking key locations such as airports and transport hubs. The BBC reports that missiles have hit Boryspil International Airport, and reporter Alec Luhn this morning posted footage of missiles smashing into the Ivano-Frankivisk International Airport in Western Ukraine. At present TravelRadar is unable to confirm these claims.
Airports being closed & schools going remote in southern Russia suggest the military operation may not just be this morning
— Alec Luhn (@ASLuhn) February 24, 2022