The European Organisation for the Safety of Air Navigation (Eurocontrol) predicted that restrictions in Ukrainian airspace would persist until 2029. What is the pessimistic forecast based on? Speaking on air of EspresoTV, Mykhailo Demkiv, a financial analyst at ICU, commented on the new report of Eurocontrol, an organization that brings together European dispatchers, on the prospects of restoring air transport in Ukraine.
Conservatives in Eurocontrol
Of course, Eurocontrol has no secret knowledge about the prospects for the end of the war in Ukraine. The regulator simply publishes its forecast of the future course of the European airline industry. Their baseline scenario is that the situation remains as it is now. Why? Publicly, it’s good to be conservatives, so to speak, and say that nothing will change. They don’t want their forecasts to be excessively positive or negative.
Will Ukrainian airports be closed until 2029?
Lurid headlines may suggest that airports will definitely be closed until 2029. However, it’s not true. Even the forecast itself states that in the case of drastic changes (which means Ukraine wins), the situation will change.
Ukraine is a prospective market for air carriers
We need to understand that Ukraine is basically a large market for air carriers. It had 16 million passengers in 2021. In the pre-Covid year of 2019, we had 24 million passengers. This is certainly not so many when compared to the hundreds of millions of passengers in Europe, but it’s still a prospective market.
European airlines raise their prices because they have to circumvent Ukraine
For European airlines, the challenge is rather not the lack of ability to fly to Ukraine, which will certainly be restored, but the overall inability to fly OVER Ukraine. And this problem has been here for a decade already. First, planes were banned from entering the airspace of Crimea, except for those of the invading country. Then, the Malaysian Boeing 777 was shot down over Donbas. In 2021, the insane Belarusian dictator forced a Ryanair plane to land, which closed Belarusian airspace for many European countries. This made it extremely difficult to fly over Ukraine, as it was surrounded by problematic airspace. In 2022, Russia started a war, and its aviation industry was sanctioned. Will the situation improve after the victory? Not certainly. But it impacts the planning of airline routes, which become more expensive because of the circumvention.
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