Ryanair head allows for resumption of flights to Ukraine until late 2023
Ireland's Ryanair, Europe's largest low-cost airline, is considering resuming a small number of flights to Ukraine before the end of this year, subject to successful negotiations by Ukraine on the partial opening of airspace, the executive director of the airline, Michael O'Leary, said.
"So, there are two plans, one, the war finishes and everything reopens in one day or two. And then there is the more likely [scenario], under which we can put some small number of flights in here at the end of this year," O'Leary said in an interview with Interfax-Ukraine.
He cited the experience of Israel, where aviation continues to work, as an example. "Aircraft can land on a daily basis in Tel Aviv, which is only 10 minutes away from the West Bank, where they are launching rockets. It has been determined that it is safe to fly and that they can protect the aircraft, so I see no reason why we can't return flights [in Ukraine]," O'Leary said.
According to him, the Ministry of Restoration is currently working to resume some flights to Ukraine at the end of this year.
"I think we should be optimistic. Certainly, the ministry is working on trying to reopen some flights to Kyiv and Lviv in the end of this year. And if they can prove that it's safe to do so then we will operate those flights," the Ryanair head said.
At the same time, he stressed that if Ukraine fails to convince EASA - the European Aviation Safety Agency and insurance companies that it is safe to operate a limited number of flights to Kyiv and Lviv, then the company will not be able to resume flights.