Lufthansa to suspend flights to Ukraine capitalon February 20, 2022 at 9:50 am

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The German airline will also halt services to Odessa as fears grow over a Russian invasion of Kyiv.

Lufthansa planes

Image source, Reuters

Lufthansa, the German airline, said it will suspend flights to the Ukraine capital Kyiv from Monday amid growing fears of a Russian invasion.

The airline said it will also stop flights to Odessa, a key port on the Black Sea.

“The safety of our passengers and crew members is our top priority at all times,” said Lufthansa.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson warned on Sunday that Russia is planning “the biggest war in Europe since 1945”.

Last week, the Dutch airline KLM said that it was suspending flight to Kyiv. Lufthansa said it will operate flights on Sunday before the suspensions come into force on Monday. They are expected to remain in place until the end of February.

“Lufthansa continues to monitor the situation closely and is in close contact with national and international authorities,” it said.

The airline, which also owns other carriers including Austrian Airlines and Swiss, said it would continue to fly to Lviv in Western Ukraine.

Mr Johnson told the BBC that evidence suggests that Russia intends to launch an invasion that will encircle Kyiv.

Graphic showing positioning of Russian troops. Updated 19 Feb

“All the signs are that the plan has already in some senses begun,” he said.

Ryanair and Wizz Air also operate flights to Ukraine and last week said they would continue to fly to the country. Ryanair is the largest airline which flies between Europe and Ukraine, followed by Wizz Air.

‘Don’t panic’

Ryanair’s chief executive Michael O’Leary said last week: “It is important not to panic.

“Is it our duty and obligation to support the people of Ukraine as long as there is no war or missiles flying there.”

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