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Ukraine to prioritize restoring air travel

by Kateryna Hodunova January 19, 2024 1:07 PM 2 min read
Boryspil International Airport in Borispil, Ukraine, on Feb. 14, 2022. (Stringer/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)
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Ukraine is working with its partners to restore air travel as quickly as possible, Deputy Head of the Presidential Office Rostyslav Shurma said at a panel discussion at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, on Jan. 18.

"I don't want to create over-expectations ... but I can tell you we are working very intensively to recover the air connection in Ukraine," Shurma said, as quoted by Reuters.

Air travel in Ukraine was suspended due to security risks after Russia launched its full-scale war in February 2022. Russia has since continued to launch indiscriminate air attacks across Ukraine.

With air travel no longer an option, Ukrainians have instead relied on trains, buses, and cars.

Shurma made no mention of when Ukraine expects to restore air travel. He noted only that the government has developed an "internal roadmap and schedule."

Kyiv is reportedly working with Israeli colleagues to enable the restoration process, as Israel has extensive experience in using air defense systems to protect its infrastructure.

"We need to get approvals from the IATA (International Air Transport Association) and FAA (the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration) which is not an easy case. And it depends more on the bold decisions of international partners that we believe we'll get," Shurma said.

Shurma noted that the government is working especially hard to reopen Boryspil International Airport near Kyiv or one of the airports in western Ukraine.

Despite the sky over Ukraine being closed, a Ukrainian airliner took off from Boryspil on the morning of Dec. 19 for a technical transfer to Europe, making it the fourth civilian flight from the airport since the start of Russia's full-scale invasion.

The airport's general director, Oleksii Dubrevskyi, said in October that it is prepared to resume flights within a month after the war's end.

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