Flight radar illustrates how airplanes avoid the airspace above Ukraine and Russia

Following Russia's all-out invasion early this morning, several of planes are changing their itineraries around Ukraine.

According to rough estimates, an area as vast as 1,000 miles wide is presently being avoided due to the continuing violence, and flights between the United Kingdom and the eastern European nation have been stopped as a consequence.

Images from the aviation website Flightradar24 show no civilian planes in Ukrainian airspace and just a handful over neighboring Moldova and Belarus, where Russian forces are stationed in large numbers.

The European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) has said that airspace within 100 nautical miles of those two nations' borders with Ukraine might potentially pose safety hazards.

'There is a significant danger of both deliberate targeting and misidentification of civil aircraft,' the agency said in a conflict zone advisory.

'The presence and potential deployment of a diverse array of ground and aerial combat equipment presents a significant danger to civil planes operating at all altitudes and flying levels.'

Wizz Air canceled flights between Luton Airport and the Ukrainian towns of Kiev and Lviv on Thursday, followed by Ryanair and Ukraine International Airlines (UIA), the other airlines that operate between the two nations.

Other international flights are expected to be disrupted, with aircraft forced to make often long detours; however, a number of the largest airlines operating flights out of the UK have assured MailOnline that they are unaffected by the airspace shutdown.

It comes after the UK Foreign Office upgraded its travel advice, warning that British people in Ukraine should "not anticipate additional consular support or assistance in evacuation."

On Thursday morning, Transport Secretary Grant Shapps ordered the restriction, which was subsequently confirmed by the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA), tweeted that he taken the decision "after the awful events overnight."

 
Dozens of flights are diverting their routes around Ukraine after airspace was closed following Russia's all-out invasion earlier this morning
Dozens of flights are diverting their routes around Ukraine after airspace was closed following Russia's all-out invasion earlier this morning
 
 
A graph shows how the number of flights to and from Ukraine has fluctuated over the last year
A graph shows how the number of flights to and from Ukraine has fluctuated over the last year
 
 
A graphic shows European military air movements around Ukraine today
A graphic shows European military air movements around Ukraine today
 

Mr Shapps added: 'I've instructed @UK-CAA (the Civil Aviation Authority) to ensure airlines avoid Ukraine airspace to keep passengers and crew safe.

'We continue to stand with the people of Ukraine and work with our international partners to respond to this act of aggression.'

Ryanair said it has suspended its flights to and from Ukraine for 'at least the next 14 days' and has removed them from sale for 'at least the next four weeks until further information becomes available from EU safety agencies'.

It added: 'Ryanair remains committed to our services to/from Ukraine and we look forward to restoring flight services there as soon as it is safe to do so.

'We sincerely regret and apologise for these unprecedented disruptions and any inconvenience that they will inevitably cause to our Ukrainian customers.'

A Wizz Air spokeswoman said: 'The safety and security of our passengers and crew remains our number one priority and we hope normality will return to Ukraine soon.'

UIA said it 'takes all possible measures to ensure the safety of our passengers'.

A Virgin Atlantic spokesperson said: 'The safety and security of our customers and people always comes first. 

'We continue to monitor the situation in Ukraine and Russia extremely carefully following the escalation of conflict, with ongoing dynamic assessments of our flight routings based on the latest situation reports and always following the strict advice set out by the Department for Transport and other global regulators.'

'Virgin Atlantic services have avoided Ukrainian airspace for many years, going above and beyond official guidance, which is supplemented by our own risk assessments. 

'This has included adjustments to our flight planning since December to further increase distance from the Ukraine-Russia border.'

The paucity of flights will make it more difficult for British citizens to flee Ukraine to the UK.

'Ukraine's airspace is blocked,' according to the Foreign Office's new travel advisory. Commercial routes out of Ukraine are expected to be significantly interrupted, and highways across Ukraine may be shutdown.'

'Russia's military activity in Ukraine will have a significant impact on the British Government's capacity to offer consular assistance in Ukraine,' it said.

'In these circumstances, British citizens should not anticipate additional consular support or assistance in evacuating.'

 
An explosion lights up the night sky over Kiev in the early hours of Thursday, as Russia launched an all-out attack on Ukraine from north, south and east with bombs, cruise missiles and rockets raining from the skies

An explosion lights up the night sky over Kiev in the early hours of Thursday, as Russia launched an all-out attack on Ukraine from north, south and east with bombs, cruise missiles and rockets raining from the skies

 
 
Russian Mi-8 attack helicopters stage an assault on Gostomel air base, just on the outskirts of Kiev, after Vladimir Putin launched an all-out attack on the country
Russian Mi-8 attack helicopters stage an assault on Gostomel air base, just on the outskirts of Kiev, after Vladimir Putin launched an all-out attack on the country
 
 
A huge explosion is seen at Vinnytsia military base, in central Ukraine, as the country comes under all-out attack by Russia
A huge explosion is seen at Vinnytsia military base, in central Ukraine, as the country comes under all-out attack by Russia
 

Early morning airplane traffic crisscrossed the nation in congested routes to the north and west.

According to flight monitoring service FlightRadar24, an El Al airplane from Tel Aviv to Toronto conducted a rapid U-turn out of Ukraine's airspace around the time of its shutdown.

Around the same time, a LOT Polish Airlines flight from Warsaw to Kyiv returned to Warsaw.

Russia said today that domestic flights to and from numerous airports along the border with Ukraine, including Rostov-on-Don, Krasnodar, and Stavropol, will be stopped until March 2.

According to a notification to airmen, Russia has also blocked certain airspace in the Rostov area 'in order to guarantee safety' for civil aviation operations.

Before Ukraine informed them of the airspace restrictions, the United Kingdom, Canada, France, Italy, and the United States warned their airlines to avoid particular airspace over eastern Ukraine and Crimea, but stopped short of a blanket prohibition.

Foreign Secretary Liz Truss advised British citizens in the nation on Tuesday to "leave immediately by commercial methods while they are still accessible."

Flights continue to fly over Russia, which is a route utilized by many carriers connecting the United Kingdom to Asia.

Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 was shot down by a missile fired from a region of Ukraine controlled by pro-Russia rebels in July 2014, killing all 298 persons on board.

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