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SkyUp temporarily suspends selling tickets due to lessors’ requirements: What has happened

Russian threat. Aircraft owners require Ukrainian carriers to return aircraft to the EU. Photo: Facebook / SkyUp Airlines

Russian threat. Aircraft owners require Ukrainian carriers to return aircraft to the EU. Photo: Facebook / SkyUp Airlines

The private Ukrainian air carrier SkyUp announced a forced halt in selling tickets for flights from February 14 to 16. The company explained this by the requirements of the lessors to return the aircraft to the territory of the European Union due to the risk of Russia's invasion of Ukraine.

Quote"On February 12, 2022, the world’s largest insurance companies informed Ukrainian air carriers that they would stop insuring aircraft for flights in Ukrainian airspace within 48 hours. This decision arose out of increased risks of the outbreak of hostilities. Accordingly, the aircraft owners—lessors—require the prompt return of the aircraft to the EU," SkyUp reports.

The air carrier noted that it is not possible for it to ignore the announced requirements, and therefore it temporarily suspended selling tickets for flights.

Additionally. On February 13, SkyUp was forced to land its aircraft on the Portugal-Ukraine route in Moldova. The reason was the requirement of the aircraft owner.

Quote"On February 12, 2022, the lessor, a resident of Ireland, informed us of an immediate ban on the entry of the UR-SQO aircraft into the airspace of Ukraine. Despite our efforts and the readiness of Ukrainian state structures to apply to the lessor, the aircraft owner gave a stiff denial. And all this at a time when the plane was already heading to Kyiv," the statement reads.

On the same day, as Oleg Nikolenko, Spokesperson for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, stated, all passengers on the flight were sent to Ukraine from Moldova by bus.

Quote"Thanks to the well-coordinated work of the consuls, 4 buses with passengers of the SkyUp flight, which made an emergency landing in Chisinau, left for Ukraine. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs is ready to provide maximum assistance to Ukrainian air carriers in solving problematic issues related to the operation of their flights," Nikolenko noted.

Context. On Sunday, US President Joe Biden's National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan warned that Moscow could resort to another invasion of Ukraine as early as this week. Amid escalating tensions around Ukraine, first the United States, and then at least 10 other countries, recommended citizens to leave Ukraine. These included Australia, Britain, Canada, Norway, Latvia, Estonia, the Netherlands, Montenegro, South Korea, and Japan.

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