MOSCOW, July 17, (ITAR-TASS). Russia’s Aeroflot has cancelled several flights to Ukrainian cities, the company’s press service said.
Aeroflot makes regular flights to Kiev, Odessa, Dnepropetrovsk, and Kharkov. It did not say which of the flights have been cancelled.
The company said earlier its planes were bypassing Ukraine and it had reduced the number of flights to Ukraine from 72 to 52 a week.
Another Russian airline, UTAir, also said it was making no flights over the eastern regions of Ukraine and was using bypassing routes.
The Belarusian airline Belavia has made the decision to change the routes for its planes flying over Ukraine.
The plane en route from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur crashed in Ukraine 60 km from the Russian border and as many as 300 people aboard are presumed to be dead.
The plane was flying at an altitude of 10,000 km and was supposed to enter Russia’s airspace at 17:20 Moscow time. Malaysian Airlines confirmed that it had lost contact with the plane over Ukraine.
A source in the Russian Federal Agency for Air Transportation said the plane’s crew had not contacted Russian air traffic controllers. The plane was supposed to fly through Ukraine and Russia.
Ukraine’s air navigation service said there were 280 people and 15 crewmembers aboard the plane.
A source in the aviation circles told ITAR-TASS that up to 300 people could have been travelling by that flight. “It crashed 60 km from the border. Its emergency locator beacon sent a signal,” the official said.