Home Travel Why Airlines Are Changing Flight Paths & Schedules Over Europe

Why Airlines Are Changing Flight Paths & Schedules Over Europe

by SharonKurheg

If you’ve been paying attention to planes that fly within and over Europe, you may have noticed a change over the past few days. Some flights have altered their flight paths, and others have made vast changes for the times of some of their flights.

Wondering why that’s happening? I’ll give you a hint…both are the types of flight that would typically fly over, or into Ukraine.

And now I bet you’re saying, “OOOooohhh!”

Whether or not it actually happens is anybody’s guess right now, but a whole lot of countries are concerned that Russia is going to invade Ukraine. And if they do, airlines don’t want to become targets in the air. They also don’t want any of their planes to be stuck overnight in a country that’s at war. So, in the interest of safety…

  • Ryanair has decreased its total number of flights to Ukraine.
  • Canadian airlines have been advised to not fly over southern and eastern Ukraine, “due to the potential risk from heightened military activity and dedicated anti-aviation weaponry in eastern Ukraine.”
  • The FAA recently renewed a ban on U.S. airlines flying over parts of eastern Ukraine (Malaysian Flight 17, en route from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur, was brought down by a Russian-made surface-to-air missile over Eastern Ukraine area in 2014).
  • Air France, which had already changed the flight patterns of their flights to Asia so they avoided eastern Ukraine, is now diverting around the country altogether.
  • Deutsche Lufthansa Austrian Airlines, Swiss International Airlines and KLM have moved some of their flights to Kyiv from evenings to mornings. That way their crews aren’t forced to stay in the country overnight.
  • Other carriers, such as LOT Polish Airlines and Hungary’s Wizz Air are continuing flights to Ukraine but are ready to make changes if necessary.

A quick look at flightrader24 from earlier this week shows the big hole over Ukraine, where planes used to go.

What’s happening in Eastern Europe is a scary situation. But it’s interesting to see the phenomenon of what has happened to flights – just like Syria, Libya, Afghanistan, Yemen, etc. before it.

H/T: Bloomberg, Reuters

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