KLM suspends flights to Ukraine

KLM suspends flights to Ukraine

The airline KLM announced on Saturday the suspension of its flights to Ukraine until further notice, just after the Dutch government advised its nationals to leave the country due to the deterioration of the security situation.

“The next flight to the capital Kiev was scheduled for this evening, but will not be operated,” KLM said in a statement, adding that the decision was “following the adjustment of travel advice […] and an analysis of in-depth security.

“There are no more flights in Ukrainian airspace until further notice,” KLM said.

Like many European countries, including Germany, Italy, Belgium and the Netherlands on Saturday called on their nationals to leave Ukraine, advising against travel to this country.

“The security situation was already worrying, and has deteriorated further in recent days,” Dutch Foreign Minister Wopke Hoekstra said in a statement on Saturday.

"Travel advice for Ukraine has changed to red today: it means that it is too dangerous to travel in the country", underlined the ministry. 

“It is not yet known when KLM will fly to Kiev again,” said KLM, which has not flown over eastern Ukraine since the crash of MH17 in 2014.

Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur was shot down over eastern Ukraine on July 17, 2014, killing all 283 passengers on board - including 196 Dutch nationals - and 15 members of crew.

Moscow has always denied any involvement.

The flights of Air France, part of the same group as KLM, are maintained for the moment.

“At the moment, there are no cancellations planned and we are maintaining our usual service to Kiev,” an Air France spokesperson told AFP, who said “to follow the evolution of the situation ".

A war in Ukraine could break out "at any time", warned Friday Washington, which called on its nationals to leave the country. Several EU countries, including Germany, Belgium, Estonia and Lithuania have also issued instructions to leave Ukraine.

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