Ukraine provides $590 million to guarantee continuation of flights

Photo: © Eric Salard (CC BY-SA 2.0)

The Ukrainian government is providing a US $590 million budget to guarantee the continuation of commercial flights, after insurance companies decided they would no longer insure flights in the Eastern European country.

On Saturday, Ukrainian carriers were informed by leasing companies that use of the aircraft could no longer be insured. SkyUp Airlines confirmed on Sunday (13th February), that some of its Boeing 737 aircraft are unable to re-enter Ukraine over these insurance issues. At the wish of its leasing firm, a flight returning from Madeira was diverted to Chisinau, Moldova, with passengers having to continue on a bus to capital Kiev. The airline has temporarily suspended ticket sales for flights taking place from 14th to 16th February.

Ukraine’s Ministry for Infrastructure met with airlines on Sunday to find a solution for the issues. Following the urgent meeting, Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal announced the 16.6 billion Hryvnia (US $590 million/€520 million) budget, to persuade insurance and leasing companies and guarantee that flights through Ukrainian airspace aren’t uninsured.

On Saturday, KLM became the first European airline to pull out of Ukraine over safety concerns amid fears that Russia could attack the country. KLM said its decision was based on a travel warning by the Dutch Foreign Ministry and an ‘extensive safety analysis’.