Ryanair to begin UK flights to Ukraine

Pro-Russian fighters launched an insurgency in the east of the country
Pro-Russian fighters launched an insurgency in the east of the country

Ryanair is launching its first flights to war-torn Ukraine.

The no-frills airline will operate routes from London Stansted, Manchester, Stockholm and Eindhoven to Kiev from October.

It will also serve Lviv from seven airports, including Stansted.

More than 9,800 people have been killed in an ongoing conflict sparked in 2014 when Russia annexed southern Ukraine's Crimea peninsula.

Pro-Russian fighters also launched an insurgency in the east of the country.

Travel advice issued by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office warns that although the situation outside eastern Ukraine is "generally calm", there are regular public demonstrations in Kiev which are mostly peaceful but "can flare up and turn violent with little warning".

Ukraine's infrastructure minister, Volodymyr Omelyan, said the launch of Ryanair flights will be a "remarkable event" for the country.

He went on: "I am convinced that Ryanair will be another bridge that connects the infrastructure of Ukraine with Europe and it will be a good signal for the world's major investors."

Ryanair's chief commercial officer, David O'Brien, said: "Ryanair is pleased to announce that low fares have finally arrived in Ukraine, our 34th country of operation.

"Ukrainian consumers and visitors can fly on Ryanair's low fares this winter and we urge all customers who wish to book their flights to do so now on the Ryanair.com website or mobile app, where they can avail of the lowest fare air travel to and from Ukraine."

The Dublin-based carrier expects around 510,000 passengers to travel to Kiev and Lviv on its flights each year.