Ryanair commits to being first airline to return to Ukraine ‘when it’s safe to do so’

Irish airline, Ryanair
Irish airline, Ryanair

The airline was previously the largest to serve Ukraine's airspace

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Ryanair has pledged to be the first airline to return to Ukraine “when it’s safe to do so”, the company’s Chief Executive Michael O’Leary has confirmed.

The airline was the largest to serve Ukraine before the country’s airspace was closed last week following the Russian invasion.

Speaking at a press conference in London on Wednesday, Mr O’Leary confirmed all of its flights to Ukraine had been cancelled until the end of March, before adding that the firm will continue to serve Ukrainians once the war has subsided.

Mr O’Leary said: “We do want to see the Ukrainians succeed. We’ve cancelled all Ukrainian routes until the end of March.

“We do not believe it will be possible to fly to Ukraine for the foreseeable future.”

He added: “We will be the first airline to return to Ukraine when it’s safe to do so.

“But I suspect it will take probably maybe into next winter before those technologies can be restored at Ukrainian airports, when hopefully the Ukrainians will have seen off the Russians and sent them back to where they came from.”

The Ryanair boss also said bookings on Thursday and Friday last week were down by “about 20 percent” week-on-week.

“I think it will not have a dramatic impact on bookings as long as the war doesn’t escalate and spread elsewhere," he added.