Civilian airspace remains open over Ukraine, despite cancelations and war fears: airport officials

Dutch airline KLM announced that it was stopping its flights to and from Ukraine because of safety concerns.

Updated: February 13, 2022 - 5:56pm

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The main civilian airport in Kyiv is open to international flights arriving and leaving Ukraine, airport authorities told Just the News.

"The Kyiv Sikorsky International Airport is currently operating normally," an airport spokesperson said Sunday afternoon Ukraine time.

Tensions have spiraled in recent days, amid speculation in the West that Russia soon will invade Ukraine. 

Questions intensified Saturday regarding air travel, when the Dutch airline KLM announced that it was stopping its flights to and from Ukraine because of safety concerns, adding "it is not yet clear" when those flights will resume.

"KLM has not been flying over the eastern regions of Ukraine and Crimea since 2014," the airline said in a statement. "There are now no more KLM flights through Ukrainian airspace until further notice."

The KLM cancellations come in the wake of an hour-long Saturday phone call between U.S. President Joe Biden and his Russian counterpart, Vladimir Putin, and amid ominous warnings from the State Department that Russia could invade Ukraine "any day now."

Ukraine asked to meet as soon as Monday with representatives from Russia and other nations to discuss Russian troop movements along the Ukrainian border, Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmitry Kuleba said on Sunday.

"We request a meeting with Russia and all participating states within 48 hours to discuss its reinforcement & redeployment along our border & in temporarily occupied Crimea," Kuleba wrote on his Twitter account.

A number of Western countries have told their citizens to leave Ukraine immediately. Commercial air travel, meanwhile, continues into the country.

Flights landed in Kyiv on Sunday from Warsaw, Budapest, Brussels, and other locales throughout Europe. Flights expected to arrive on Monday include those from Rome, Athens, Milan, and other cities. The German air carrier Lufthansa is scheduled to send multiple flights into Kyiv on Monday and throughout the week.

The country's Ministry of Infrastructure said that all skies remain open over Ukraine.

“Information about the closure of Ukraine’s airspace is not true," the ministry wrote in a statement. "Closure of airspace is a sovereign right of Ukraine; no decision has been made.”

Russia has said it does not plan to invade its western neighbor, despite stationing more than 100,000 troops near the border.