One of the five Ukrainian Boeign 737-800 aircraft that landed yesterday at Castellon Airport due to the political situation in Ukraine and Russia, February 15, 2022 in Castellon, Valencia, Spain.
Karm Ripoles Europa Press Getty Images
Russia’s invasion of Ukraine this week is tearing apart the airline industry, causing a ban on flights and other restrictions.
Ukraine closed its airspace to civilian flights minutes before Russia invaded on Thursday morning, drowning out the exit point.
Discount carrier Wizz Air said on Friday that it was trying to evacuate crews who were in Ukraine.
“We continue to make every effort to get them at the earliest opportunity,” spokeswoman Christy Rawlings said in an email. “We are in regular contact with the entire crew and can confirm that many of them were able to leave the country by land transport. Most of our employees who are there are citizens of Ukraine. ”
Earlier, KLM Royal Dutch Airlines and Lufthansa Group stopped flights to Ukraine.
KLM told CNBC on Friday that it was also cutting some flights to Russia so crews would not have to spend the night there.
The no-fly zones have been extended to Moldova and parts of eastern Russia. Many airlines have fled eastern Russia after a 2014 MH17 Malaysia Airlines flight was shot down by a Russian missile there.
FlightRadar24, an online flight tracker, does not show planes flying over Ukraine after the Russian attack.
Igor Golovnev Lightrocket | Getty Images
In response to Russia’s invasion, British officials have banned Russian carrier Aeroflot from landing there, leading to revenge by Russia, which bans British airlines from using their airspace.
Some airlines diverted planes around the area of potential conflict a few days before the invasion.
“Any sabotage that planes have to do around the no-fly zone will add to the cost of fuel,” said Bruce Chan, a logistics analyst at Stifel.
Higher costs will be at a time when airlines are already struggling with rising fuel prices.
Joint Parcel Service last week began flying a more southern route around Ukraine.
“While this alternative route adds extra time to the flight, we believe it is a viable alternative to further ensure safe and efficient operations,” the airline said in a statement to the pilots on 21 February. “We will continue to monitor the situation and provide you with additional updates when we receive them.”
Some international carriers have asked about the availability of fuel and ground support at Anchorage Airport in Alaska, a major cargo airport, a CNBC spokesman said. These issues are a sign that airlines are developing contingency plans when more Russian airspace will be closed to them.