Update, 3/3: Texas based Sabre announced today that they will terminate their ticket distribution agreement with Aeroflot, which will remove their flights from the GDS that travel agents and websites use to book tickets. That will likely go into effect in the coming hours.
It seems that for now, Sabre will continue to operate the airline’s backend passenger services system, without which the airline would likely be forced to shut down. Sabre says they will monitor the situations to see if further action is appropriate.
Update, 3/1: President Biden announced tonight that US airspace will be closed for Russian flights, which will trigger reciprocal bans for US airlines over Russia. That will mean longer or cancelled flights between the US and India and the Far East. This comes after the UK, EU, and Canada banned Russian flights from their airspace, with Russia retaliating against UK, EU, and Canadian flights over their airspace.
United is cancelling San Francisco-Delhi and Newark-Mumbai for the time being, while continuing to operate Chicago and Newark to Delhi.
American operates their daily Delhi-JFK flight without Russian overflight rights, which typically causes that flight to divert to Bangor for refueling…
Update, 2/27: The US Embassy in Russia is telling Americans to leave Russia now while there are still some flights available. It’s too late to get to most places, but for now, there are still flights to global hubs like Abu Dhabi, Doha, and Dubai, as well as other airports like Tel Aviv.
Originally posted on 2/27:
The world’s eyes are on Ukraine, which has been putting up a valiant fight against Russian invaders under the heroic leadership of Volodymyr Zelenskyy.
The 44 year old father of 2 is a former comedian who played a teacher on TV that suddenly became President of the country when he spoke out against corruption. As with Ronald Reagan, he deftly made the transition from the small screen to President by continuing that theme of speaking out against corrupt lifelong politicians and winning in a landslide.
Mr. Putin has called the Ukrainian leadership “neo-Nazis,” which is ironic given that Mr. Zelenskyy is Jewish and all 3 of his grandfather’s brothers were murdered by actual Nazis in the Holocaust.
Mr. Zelenskyy has already won by refusing to run away. When the US offered him an escape route, he responded with “I need ammunition, not a ride.” Despite being Russia’s primary target, he has refused to abandon his country. This man will either go down in history books as a Churchill-esque military hero should Ukraine prevail, or a martyr that will ensure that Ukrainians will never make life easy for a Russian puppet leader. He is truly the leader that Ukraine needed for this moment. May G-d protect and watch over him.
The world has been uniting around Ukraine’s cause, supplying them with defensive aid, something that countries like Germany had a policy not to do in conflict zones.
Turkey is now calling this a war and will limit Russian warships from the Black Sea south of Ukraine as they control the straits between the Mediterranean and the Black Sea.
And countries like Moldova, Romania, and Poland are taking in thousands of refugees escaping fighting, as pictures emerge of Jewish weddings being held in Moldova, on the run from Ukraine. Who would have thought we’d see pictures like this in Europe in this century?
In a move with far reaching consequences, both the EU and Canada are closing their airspace to all Russian aircraft. That follows the UK’s lead in shutting down their airspace to Russian owned, operated, registered, or controlled aircraft.
Russia will retaliate, but they may soon find themselves unable to fly over much of the world.
Why is the US not acting in solidarity with Canada and the EU? Perhaps US airlines are quietly lobbying to keep Russian airspace open for overflight rights there which they are currently utilizing, but it is surprising that the US has not done so by this point.
The EU is also blocking Russian media and propaganda. Indeed, Russian trolls and bots have even been trying to register accounts and post their nonsense in the DDF thread on the current war in Ukraine via VPNs.
Clearly Mr. Putin is getting squeezed on all sides. He has just fired his military leader who has led for the past decade. The new military head will likely be a puppet that won’t push back on Putin’s worst ideas.
The scary thing is that the more trapped that Mr. Putin feels, the more likely he is to do something with devastating consequences, as he puts his nuclear forces on alert. Hopefully that’s just a bluff to attempt to get more at the negotiating table, but clearly Russia thought that Ukraine would have surrendered by now and Putin may begin to act even more recklessly as he is cornered.
Let’s all pray for peace in Ukraine and all over the world.
Our thoughts and prayers are with Ukraine and the Ukrainian people. You can follow along the latest developments on DDF, where DansDeals site designer and DDF member @Suave has been posting updates of his own escape from his adopted hometown of Odessa, Ukraine and is asking for help bringing people to safety with his personal fund. @Suave also notes that you can donate funds to South Ukraine Emergency Fund here. He has worked together with United Hatzala to set up a command center in Moldova for refugees. There is also an emergency fund for the Kiev community here. And there is a Ukraine wide fund. And you can donate to the Ukraine Jewish Relief Fund. Pray for peace!