The German VC pilots’ union is concerned about flights to Ukraine

The pilots’ unions have expressed concern over the safety risks of flying over Ukraine amid growing geopolitical tensions in the region.

The German pilots’ union Vereinigung Cockpit (VC) has said it recommends avoiding the area by a wide margin due to the current, very dynamic political situation.

European aviation security authorities have not yet told airlines to avoid flights over Ukraine. However, some airlines are already avoiding the area.

“To avoid any doubt, the authorities and airlines must always choose the safest course of action,” – said in a statement VC dated February 16, 2022.

On February 15, 2022, Russia announced that it was partially withdrawing troops from the border with Ukraine. On February 16, 2022, the Ministry of Defense published a video showing tanks and military equipment leaving Crimea.

For many pilots, the situation is reminiscent of the flight of MH17 Malaysia Airlines over eastern Ukraine in the summer of 2014.

Both the International Federation of Airline Pilot Associations (IFALPA) and the European Cabin Association (ECA) have previously called on states to take action. They emphasize that in 2014 there was a “false sense of security” when many airlines continued to fly around the area.

“IFALPA and ECA are extremely concerned that the same false sense of security may arise again,” they said in a joint statement earlier on February 1, 2022, urging states and operators to “carefully consider the lessons to be learned from MH17.”

The unions said states should close airspace or ban flights over high-risk areas. Sometimes states cannot close their airspace for fear of losing money earned from flights.

In light of tensions, Ukrainian carriers had to move some aircraft to different countries at the request of lessors and because of insurance requirements.

On February 15, 2022, Ukraine International Airlines sent two more planes to Spain for safekeeping. As a result, its fleet was reduced to 13 aircraft. However, he continues to operate domestic and international flights.

“The airline managed to work out a compromise position in the process of negotiations with insurance companies and with the consent of lessors,” the statement said.

https://www.aerotime.aero/authors/victoria.bryan/30250-pilots-unions-ukraine-flights The German VC pilots’ union is concerned about flights to Ukraine

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