Lufthansa rearranges some flights to Ukraine amid tensions in Russia

A scratched logo of German airline Lufthansa is seen at Frankfurt airport as the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) continues in Frankfurt, Germany, Nov. 6, 2020, REUTERS/Kai Pfaffenbach/File Photo

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KYIV, Jan. 24 (Reuters) – Germany’s Lufthansa has rescheduled at least two flights to Ukraine this week, in one of the first changes in air traffic since the latest rise in tensions between Russia and the West.

A Lufthansa (LHAG.DE) flight from Frankfurt to Kiev on Sunday afternoon was rescheduled for Monday morning, with staff at the Lufthansa service center saying it was because the crew could no longer stay in Kiev due to the current “problems,” a reporter said. of Reuters who witnessed the announcement said.

Tensions have escalated after Russia has gathered an estimated 100,000 troops within range of the Ukrainian border, though Moscow denies it plans to invade. L8N2U41TF

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Several countries have warned of the risk of flying near Ukraine’s eastern border region, some 450-550 miles southeast of Kiev, since Malaysian Airlines flight MH17 was shot down in 2014, killing all 298 people on board.

The US Federal Aviation Administration recently extended a ban on US airlines flying over parts of eastern Ukraine.

Canada last week warned of “increased military activity” and the “threat posed by miscalculation and miscommunication”.

Lufthansa’s Frankfurt-Kyiv flight scheduled for Monday afternoon was rescheduled for Tuesday morning, the Frankfurt airport’s online departure board showed, while no such flight was shown on Wednesday.

“We have only adjusted our flight schedule to Ukraine for operational reasons,” a Lufthansa spokesman said on Monday, while another confirmed that there are no intermediate stops in Kiev for the time being.

Both did not comment further on the situation.

Frankfurt Airport’s website showed a flight from Lufthansa to the Ukrainian city of Lviv, about 540 km west of Kiev, at 10:10 p.m. Monday. Lufthansa serves Kiev, Lviv and Odessa in Ukraine.

Russia annexed the Black Sea peninsula of Crimea from Ukraine in 2014 and has sided with rebels fighting government forces in the eastern region of Donbas, where some 14,000 people have been killed, the Ukrainian government says.

The European Union has threatened Moscow with sanctions if it invaded Ukraine again, the United States has supplied Kiev with more weapons and NATO has said it would put troops on standby.

Russia has denounced the measures as an escalation of tensions. It has demanded that Washington guarantee that Ukraine will never join the Western military alliance.

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Reporting by Gabriela Baczynska; Additional reporting by Allison Lampert; Editing by Tim Hepher and Alexander Smith

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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