June 25, 2021 at Istanbul Airport in Istanbul, Turkey, a passenger plane of Ukraine International Airlines is considered as the first official observatory area in Turkey for aviation enthusiasts and photographers.
Mehmet Eser | Anadolu Agency Getty Images
Civilian flights within Ukraine were restricted until the end of Thursday, the aviator said.
Airlines, including Qatar Airways, Wizz Air, Turkish Airlines and others, have canceled flights to Kiev scheduled for Thursday.
Flights were restricted “because of the potential danger to civil aviation,” according to a statement posted on the Federal Aviation Administration’s website. Russia launched an attack on its neighbor on Thursday morning local time.
The announcement came just before Russian President Vladimir Putin announced that his forces would launch a military operation in Ukraine. Shortly after Putin’s statement, explosions erupted in Ukrainian cities such as the capital, Kyiv.
The European Union’s Air Security Agency on Thursday morning local time avoids Ukraine’s airspace, including 100 nautical miles from the borders with Belarus and Russia.
Several foreign airlines, including Lufthansa and KLM, have previously suspended flights to Ukraine due to fears of a potential Russian invasion of Ukraine.
Flight 755 of Polish LOT airlines, en route to Kiev, returned to Warsaw around the time the order was issued.
Earlier, Russia restricted flights along the country’s eastern border with Ukraine. U.S. aviation authorities have for the first time banned U.S. planes from flying over eastern Ukraine after 17 Malaysia Airlines flights were shot down in the region.
Some carriers have changed routes.
“Based on our collective assessment of the situation, we have decided to actively move to an alternative flight route,” he said. Joint Parcel Service said in a message to its pilot on Monday. “While this alternative route adds extra flight time, we believe it is a viable alternative to further ensure safe and efficient operations. We will continue to monitor the situation and provide you with additional updates when we receive them.”
Stay tuned for updates here.