Latvian Radio in Ukraine: airBaltic ready to fly when airspace is safe

Latvian national airline airBaltic was one of the last to leave Ukraine before the start of the full-scale invasion, and would like to be among the first airlines to resume flights to the country when it is safe to do so, said company chief Martin Gauss in Kyiv on Monday, March 25.

For more than two years, Ukraine's airspace has been closed. Almost the only thing flying there is Russian missiles and drones being shot down. However, Ukrainians have begun preparations for air travel to be resumed in at least one Ukrainian airport, and due to this possibility, airBaltic chief Martin Gauss visited Kyiv on Monday.

He visited Boryspil International Airport, which is the largest in the Kyiv outskirts, and also met with representatives of the Ministry of Infrastructure to discuss the possibilities of resuming airBaltic flights to Ukraine when it is safe to do so.

Gauss told Latvian Radio that the airport is fully prepared to resume work. It has been maintained in good order in the meantime – employees have also been retained.

Once it is safe to fly and all the necessary international permits are received, airBaltic could return with flights from and to Boryspil airport.

However, just when Gauss was at the airport and began to tell his story about what airBaltic could offer, another missile attack on Kyiv also began.

The company manager presented the airport representatives with everything that airBaltic could offer when flights resumed, but no specific agreements were signed.

When asked if he believed Ukraine's anti-aircraft defenses were so strong at the moment to ensure safe flights, Gauss replied: 

"I am not a military expert to say that it is safe or not safe. We saw a large missile landing today. This must not happen when the planes are there – that would not be a good thing. So they need to provide safe airspace before the airspace opens. That's what we talked about as well. They have plans and ideas to secure it in the future. The best thing would be to stop the fire, which would normally be necessary. If both sides agree there are no more missiles in the air then there is an international assessment that it is safe to fly and then we can fly. It can happen very quickly and it can also take time."

The intensity of attacks has increased recently, both for the Ukrainian capital and for Ukrainian infrastructure as a whole. For days now, Ukraine's second-largest city, Kharkiv, has been trying to recover since the biggest attack on infrastructure after the start of a full-scale war.

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