13 February, 2022

KLM halts Kiev flights as tensions mount and evacuations take place

KLM along with a number of other airlines have stopped flying to Ukraine, KLM says this decision follows the adjusted travel advice to code red and an extensive safety analysis. It is not yet clear when KLM will fly to Kiev again.

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

KLM always puts the safety of passengers and employees first in the conduct of its operation. Choosing safe and optimal routes is a standard part of our daily practice. KLM uses a security management system to analyze risks in order to determine safe flight routes. This analysis also uses information that is shared within the Dutch expert group, which includes all Dutch airlines, the intelligence services, the Ministry of Defence, the Ministry of the Interior and Kingdom Relations, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, NCTV and the Ministry of Infrastructure and Water Management. The decision not to fly over or to a specific country is based on the most current analysis at that time.

The UK, US and Germany are among a number of nations that have advised their nationals to evacuate Ukraine immediately. The UK's Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office said British nationals in Ukraine should leave now while commercial means are still available.

Since January 2022, the build-up of Russian forces on Ukraine’s borders has increased the threat of military action.  Due to the growing threat from Russia, the FCDO has taken the decision to temporarily withdraw some Embassy staff and their dependents from Kyiv. The Embassy remains open but will be unable to provide in-person consular assistance. British nationals should leave while commercial options remain. UK's ambassador confirmed she will stay in the Ukrainian capital with a core team, however, evacuation plans have already been made.

The US has also decided to evacuate most of its embassy staff in Kyiv, this was followed by Australia and Canada by similar moves by Canada and Australia. Most countries are moving operations to bases in Poland.   

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