Eastern Ukraine – the world’s busiest flight route
2 mins read

Eastern Ukraine – the world’s busiest flight route

The tragic July 17 crash of Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 in Ukraine and the subsequent closure of┬áthe country’s eastern airspace left one of the world’s busiest aviation areas deserted.

Most of the world’s airlines have chosen to bypass Ukrainian airspace.

Three Vietnam Airlines flights to Paris and Frankfurt this morning all took the same route through Belarus, avoiding Ukrainian airspace.

Located on flight route L980, Eastern Ukraine is a familiar destination on the route connecting crowded European airports such as London, Amsterdam, Frankfurt… with major Asian cities such as Tokyo,

With a frequency of about 400 flights per day (including 150 international flights), according to CNBC, this used to be one of the safest and most efficient routes for commercial aircraft.

At the same time MH17 was shot down, according to data from tracking firm FlightRadar24, there were 55 other aircraft operating nearby.

Eastern Ukraine - the world's busiest flight route

The Eastern Ukraine flight route as well as Donetsk airport used to be extremely busy.

`This is a very frequently used route. Malaysia Airlines chose the most direct and economical route to reduce fuel costs. This is also what customers want and is not unusual compared to other airlines.`

The direct operating costs of the Boeing 777-200ER are approximately $25,000 per hour.

Eastern Ukraine - the world's busiest flight route

Currently, most airlines avoid this area.

Direct operating costs include depreciation, insurance, interest, fuel, ground services, crew costs, and maintenance.

Eastern Ukraine is the scene of a conflict between the Ukrainian army and pro-Russian separatist forces.

However, according to Ms. Mary Schiavo – former inspector general of the US Department of Transportation, the US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and other civil aviation agencies had not previously considered the area where MH17 was shot down to be in a conflict zone.

In addition, the airline’s flight routes are carefully researched in advance and are bound by fuel costs, as well as a system of milestones along the way.

`Normally, a route will not have many changes. If an airline has daily flights from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur, they will fly on the same route every day,` Kees Rietsema – Professor at the University of Aeronautics

`Actually, the decision-making power is in the hands of the airlines,` Ron Bartsch – Director of international aviation consulting firm – AvLaw International said on SMH.

Thomas Routh – an aviation official in Chicago (USA) also agreed with this opinion.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *