Ukraine closes airspace to civilian flights, Air India's special flight returns mid-air

WION Web Team
New Delhi, IndiaUpdated: Feb 24, 2022, 02:23 PM IST

(left) A screen recording of flight tracking website FlightRadar24 shows aircraft diverting around Ukraine, February 24, 2022 in this still image taken from video. Photograph:(Reuters)

Story highlights

As per reports, an empty flight of Air India AI-1947 is returning from over Iran air space as Ukraine imposed restrictions on civilian aircraft 

Disclaimer: A number of claims and counterclaims are being made on the Ukraine-Russia conflict on the ground and online. While WION takes utmost care to accurately report this developing news story, we cannot independently verify the authenticity of all statements, photos and videos.  

There is a war-like situation in eastern Europe after Russian President Vladimir Putin announced the launch of a military operation against Ukraine on Thursday (February 24). 

In the aftermath, Ukrainian authorities closed the airspace to civilian flights citing a high risk to safety. 

Europe's aviation regulator also warned against the dangers to aircraft flying in bordering areas of Russia and Belarus, because of the increased military activities. 

Ukraine State Air Traffic Services Enterprise said the country's airspace was closed to civilian flights starting from 0045 GMT on Thursday, with air traffic services suspended.  

The European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) said airspace in Russia and Belarus within 100 nautical miles of their borders with Ukraine could also pose safety risks. 

The agency said in a conflict zone bulletin, "In particular, there is a risk of both intentional targeting and misidentification of civil aircraft." 

It added, "The presence and possible use of a wide range of ground and airborne warfare systems poses a high risk for civil flights operating at all altitudes and flight levels." 

Before the suspension was announced, Britain, Canada, France, Italy and the United States had told their airlines to avoid certain airspace above eastern Ukraine and Crimea. 

Air India's special flight returned mid-air

A special Air India flight returning from mid-air as Ukraine airspace is closed due to notice to airmen (NOTAM) as war has been started between Russia and Ukraine. 

India-based news agency ANI reported citing sources that an empty flight of Air India AI-1947 is returning from over Iran air space as Ukraine imposed restrictions on civilian aircraft. 

"Air India flight AI1947 is coming back to Delhi due to NOTAM at, Kyiv, Ukraine," Air India informed. 

Notice to airmen (NOTAM), is a notice filed with an aviation authority to alert aircraft pilots of potential hazards along a flight route or at a location that could affect the flight. 

Air India is scheduled to operate a second special flight for Ukraine to bring back stranded Indian citizens. 

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