Bristol Airport: which flight routes could be affected by Russia-Ukraine conflict?

In retaliation to the UK issuing a ban on all Aeroflot carriers entering the country, Vladimir Putin has shut Russian airspace to all British aircraft as the Russia-Ukraine conflict intensifies.

Russia President Vladmir Putin’s ban of all UK aircraft entering Russian airspace comes following sanctions imposed to stop one of the country’s biggest airlines, Aeroflot, from landing on British shores.

World leaders, such as UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson, have come out to openly condemn the acts of Putin.

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But as war rages on European soil once again, Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has intensified as blood has been shed and full Russian occupation of the country is becoming a realistic possibility.

The effect of this conflict can already be felt in the UK, but in the form of disrupted flights to Russia, Ukraine, and countries nearby.

Will flights from Bristol Airport be affected by Russia-Ukraine conflict?

Despite Bristol Airport not operating direct flights to either Ukraine or Russia, it is still be possible to fly to locations near the conflict.

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You can fly directly from Bristol Airport to some of Ukraine’s neighbouring countries, such as Budapest in Hungary and Krakow, Warsaw and Gdansk in Poland.

Bristol Airport told BristolWorld that there remains “no major impact” on flights going to or leaving the city.

Airlines such as EasyJet offer services to these Polish destinations that lie north-west of Ukraine, and they want to ensure that the safety of their passengers and staff is of the utmost importance.

“The safety and wellbeing of our customers is our highest priority, we continue to follow the advice of the relevant aviation authorities and so our flights to Poland and Hungary continue to operate as scheduled,” an EasyJet spokesperson told BristolWorld.

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“While our network doesn’t overfly currently impacted airspace and so our flying programme and network remain unaffected by current events, we continue to monitor the situation closely and follow the guidance of the relevant aviation authorities.”

Jet2 also operates a number of carriers to countries near the Russia-Ukraine conflict from Bristol, but have stated that their services remain unaffected.

Other airlines such as Ryanair offer services to these areas too and are yet to cancel or divert any flights from Bristol Airport.

Which countries have closed their airspace to UK flights?

Russia announced on Friday (25 February) that it was banning any UK registered aircraft from entering its airspace or landing at Russian airports.

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This was in response to British authorities sanctioning one of Russia’s biggest airlines, Aeroflot, from entering UK airspace or airports, which was announced on Thursday.

Rosaviatsia, Russia’s civil aviation authority, issued the following statement on 25 February after announcing the ban on UK aircraft.

A spokesperson said: "This measure was taken in accordance with the provisions of the Intergovernmental Air Services Agreement between Russia and the UK as a response to unfriendly decisions by the UK aviation authorities regarding the restriction on regular flights of aircraft owned, leased or operated by a person associated with Russia or registered in Russia."

Ukraine has completely shut off its airspace to civilian aircraft in reaction to the ongoing conflict, citing a safety risk due to the use of weapons and military equipment.

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Moldova, Ukraine’s neighbouring country to the west, has followed suit in completely closing its airspace.

Belarus, which is situated north of Ukraine, has only closed a part of its airspace.

Could my holiday or flight be cancelled this year?

Flights to countries near the conflict, such as Hungary, Poland and Moldova, are unaffected by the Russia-Ukraine conflict.

For the time being, flights from Bristol and other UK airports to Russia and Ukraine remain cancelled.

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Passengers are advised to keep in contact with their airlines if they have any queries or encounter any problems with their flights.

What should I do if my flight is cancelled?

If your flight has been cancelled as a result of the Russia-Ukraine conflict, airlines have a legal obligation to issue you with a refund or an alternative flight.

According to EU Regulation 261/2004, after requesting a refund, it must be with you in full in no later than seven days.

If your trip was part of a package, then the tour manager is expected to find a solution or issue a full refund.

It is expected that customers do not need to use their travel insurance to claim a refund.

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