Will UK flights fly over Ukraine? Latest travel advice from UK to Ukraine as Russia launches military attack

The UK Foreign Office is advising against all travel to Ukraine and warned that commercial routes out of the country will be severely disrupted

Airlines have begun suspending flights to and from Ukraine after Russia launched a major military assault on the country.

Ukraine closed its airspace in the early hours of Thursday (24 February) morning, sparking cancellations from UK airports.

Airlines have begun suspending flights to and from Ukraine (Photo: Getty Images)Airlines have begun suspending flights to and from Ukraine (Photo: Getty Images)
Airlines have begun suspending flights to and from Ukraine (Photo: Getty Images)

Are flights still operating from the UK to Ukraine?

Ukraine’s airspace is now closed and many airlines in the UK have cancelled flights to the country.

Wizz Air cancelled its flights between Luton Airport and the Ukrainian cities of Kyiv and Lviv on Thursday.

Ryanair and Ukraine International Airlines (UIA), the other carriers which fly between the UK and Ukraine, also suspended those routes.

Ryanair confirmed that flights to and from Ukraine will be suspended for “at least the next 14 days” and has now removed them from sale for the next four weeks.

The airline said: “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.”

Images from aviation website Flightradar24 show there are no civilian aircraft in Ukrainian airspace and very few over neighbouring Belarus, where many Russian troops are positioned.

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps banned aircraft flying to or from UK airports from using Ukraine airspace.

The Cabinet minister tweeted that he made the decision “following the horrific events overnight”.

He added: “I’ve instructed @UK_CAA (the Civil Aviation Authority) to ensure airlines avoid Ukraine airspace to keep passengers and crew safe.

“We continue to stand with the people of Ukraine and work with our international partners to respond to this act of aggression.”

What is the latest travel advice?

The UK Foreign Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) has updated its travel advice to warn that British nationals in Ukraine “should not expect increased consular support or help with evacuating”.

The lack of flights travelling to and from the country will make it harder for British nationals to evacuate from Ukraine to the UK.

It said: “Russia’s military action in Ukraine will severely affect the British Government’s ability to provide consular assistance in Ukraine.

“British nationals should not expect increased consular support or help with evacuating in these circumstances.”

The FCDO is advising against all travel to Ukraine and warned that commercial routes out of the country will likely be severely disrupted, while roads could be closed.

British nationals are advised to leave Ukraine immediately if it is safe to do so and to follow the advice of the UKrainian authorities.

Those who are in the vicinity of military activity who cannot leave safely should stay indoors, away from windows, and “remain alert to developments that would allow you to leave safely”.

On Tuesday (22 February), Foreign Secretary Liz Truss urged Britons in the country to “leave now via commercial routes while they are still available”.

Flights are continuing to operate over Russia, which is a route used by many services between the UK and Asia.

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