How is the War in Ukraine affecting commercial aviation?

The war in Ukraine has been going on for nearly 2 months now, but how is it affecting the commercial aviation industry and what does the future look like for the skies above Ukraine?

How it started

There are many reasons why the war in Ukraine started, one of the most prominent reasons being Russia’s desire for resources such as oil or power. This would ensure that even though Russia has had many sanctions placed upon it by many countries, they would still have the resources and the power to be able to supply the country. Many countries in Europe have relied on Russia for their oil in the past, meaning that it is a great way for Russia to bring a stable income into the country. However, Putin claims that he is invading Ukraine to “Free the country of its Nazi Leaders”, even though the country’s leader and president, Volodymyr Zelensky, is Jewish.


How it will affect freight aviation

With the loss of the world’s largest aircraft, the Antanov AN-225, and many of Antanov’s planes, cargo planes will be sold by other manufacturers, possibly leading to an increase in the price of Cargo aircraft due to less being available. Many of the old cargo aircraft belonging to remote airlines such as Air Koryo in North Korea belonged to Antanov, meaning that it will be harder for these airlines to source spare parts for their aircraft when they need repairing.


How it will affect commercial aviation

Currently, in the UK and other places, it is not possible to get a direct flight to Russia due to the UK government banning the use of Russian airlines inside UK airspace. This will result in longer flights, not only for flights to Russia but for flights that would ordinarily fly through Ukrainian airspace as well, as they have to divert around the Ukrainian airspace. With sanctions being imposed on Russia, Aviation fuel prices will dramatically increase, resulting possibly in an increase in flight prices worldwide. Likewise, in the freight aviation industry, there will also be an increase in the price of aircraft and a decrease in the number of aircraft that are flying.


At the moment, it is unclear as to how long the war in Ukraine will last, but one thing is for sure, it will affect the whole aviation industry in many different ways, across all sectors.


  • The Daily Mail
  • The Guardian
  • (also cover image)

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