Airlines avoiding all Ukrainian airspace

February 24, 2022
Flightradar24 SCreen Shot of commercial aircarft over Eastern Europe.

Airspace over Ukraine is devoid of commercial airline traffic as planes use corridors well to the south of the country.

Almost eight years after Malaysian Airlines Flight 17 (MH17) was shot down over eastern Ukraine, airlines are avoiding flying over the imperiled country.

The Ukrainian government has closed airports in eastern Ukraine because of the invasion by Russia, while that country warned its airlines to stay away from that disputed zone.

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Airlines are also avoiding Russian airspace to the east of Ukraine.

Ukrainian aviation authorities are warning of attempts by Russia to take control of the airspace and to only listen and respond to Ukrainian controllers.

The Flightradar 24 image taken at 3 pm Thursday Perth time shows that there is not one civilian aircraft in Ukrainian airspace.

The disruption of the Ukrainian airspace is not expected to impact airlines such as Qantas flying from Australia and Asia to Europe greatly, as there are numerous other routes to the south available.

Also, the northern winter coupled with the impact of COVID means the number of flights using the various air lanes is reduced significantly.

In 2014, Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 (MH17), a passenger flight from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur, was shot down by a surface-to-air missile while flying over eastern Ukraine.

All 298 passengers and crew were killed in the incident.