Help us serve you better. Take a survey now

Take survey
Skip to content
Edit post

Omicron fears close 37 air routes in Ukraine

by Dylan Carter January 18, 2022 4:38 PM 2 min read
In January, Ryanair canceled around a third of its flights globally, slashing seat availability from 10 to 6-7 million. (ryanair.com)
This audio is created with AI assistance

Support independent journalism in Ukraine. Join us in this fight.

Become a member Support us just once

Following a global trend of dwindling demand, and severe staff shortages caused by the Covid-19 Omicron variant, fewer planes are now entering Ukrainian skies as Irish low-cost airline Ryanair cancels flights across Europe.

In September, Ryanair stated that it planned to “expand aggressively” in Ukraine following the country's accession to the “Open Skies” agreement, which allows foreign airlines greater access to the Ukrainian market.

This expansion, however, did not materialize. Instead, Ukraine has been hit hard by flight cancellations by major European airlines, including Ryanair.

According to data from the Ukrainian travel website Lowcostavia, Ryanair canceled 17 Ukrainian routes in January, with seven more routes scheduled to be canceled in February. These cancellations mostly affect flights from Lviv, Kharkiv, and Odesa, as well as flights to smaller Ukrainian cities.

The cancelation leaves some cities without any Ryanair flights. One of them is Kharkiv in Ukraine’s east, the country's second-biggest city with a population of 1.4 million people. These reductions are scheduled to last at least until the end of February.

Ryanair did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Similarly, Hungarian low-cost airline Wizz Air has suspended flights to 20 destinations from Ukraine. The airline no longer operates any flights from Zaporizhzhia and Odesa, until March at the earliest.

Ukraine International Airlines has also suspended flights from Boryspil International Airport near Kyiv to Tbilisi and Athens until March.

According to a press release published by Ryanair, the low-cost airline cut 33% of all its flights in January, which represents a reduction of around 3-4 million seats. The airline blamed a spike in infections by the Covid-19 Omicron variant and the reintroduction of travel restrictions to most of Europe in January.

Across Europe, travel restrictions, as well as a surge in Covid-19 infections, have crippled European air traffic.

Pandemic restrictions and high infections have also sharply hit demand. In January, CNBC reported that airlines had been flying empty aircraft across Europe to secure landing spots. Now, airlines are canceling flights en masse.

Lufthansa Group has canceled a staggering 33,000 flights from January to February, according to the travel website Afar. That represents around 10% of all its winter flights.

While European carriers slash flights, Ukrainian carriers have begun to tentatively expand abroad.

The Ukrainian airline Azur Air, owned by Russian travel agency Anex Tour, recently received permits from the State Aviation Service of Ukraine to fly nine new routes to Spain and Greece.

Ukrainian low-cost regional airline Air Ocean also started its first regular service between Ukraine’s western city of Lviv and Kharkiv in December, although these flights were later suspended due to problems with the airline’s aircraft.

Support independent journalism in Ukraine. Join us in this fight.
Freedom can be costly. Both Ukraine and its journalists are paying a high price for their independence. Support independent journalism in its darkest hour. Support us for as little as $1, and it only takes a minute.
visa masterCard americanExpress

News Feed

6:58 AM

US expands sanctions against Belarus.

The latest sanctions package targets entities that profit from Russia's war in Ukraine, including a state-owned machine tool building company, a radio communications firm, and a software development company.
Ukraine Daily
News from Ukraine in your inbox
Ukraine news
Please, enter correct email address
1:20 AM

Zelensky: Allies can defend Ukraine in the same way as they protected Israel.

"By defending Israel, the free world demonstrated that unity (among allies) is not only possible but 100% effective," Zelensky said after a meeting with top military and security officials . "The allies' decisive actions prevented the success of terrorism and loss of infrastructure and forced the aggressor to cool down."
5:30 PM

Netherlands, Germany, Canada to send drones to Ukraine.

Canada will send 450 SkyRanger multi-mission drones, while the Netherlands, in collaboration with Denmark and Germany, will supply Ukraine with Heidrun RQ-35 reconnaissance drones worth 200 million euros ($213 million).
MORE NEWS

Editors' Picks

Enter your email to subscribe
Please, enter correct email address
Subscribe
* indicates required
* indicates required
Subscribe
* indicates required
* indicates required
Subscribe
* indicates required

Subscribe

* indicates required
Subscribe
* indicates required

Subscribe

* indicates required
Subscribe
* indicates required
Successfuly subscribed
Thank you for signing up for this newsletter. We’ve sent you a confirmation email.