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A real-time picture of how flights are now avoiding Ukrainian airspace

This video shows the flight path of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 according to the airline flight tracking website (

In the wake of the crash of Malaysian Flight 17, likely shot down over the Eastern part of Ukraine, several airlines have announced they will be routing flights around Ukrainian airspace. Real-time data from aviation firm FlightRadar24 seems to confirm this: it currently shows just a handful of flights over Ukraine. Many flights appear to be skirting around the eastern and western edges of the country, with just a small handful in Ukrainian airspace proper.

Luc Tytgat, the director of Eurocontrol, which directs air traffic across Europe, told the BBC that the airspace above eastern Ukraine had been closed to all commercial flights. The BBC quoted Luc as saying that four other commercial aircraft were in the same area as MH17 at the time of the crash, but that they continued their routes.

The European Cockpit Association, which represents pilots, released a statement saying that the route MH17 had taken was the most common one for flights from Europe to Southeast Asia.

Griff Witte contributed to this report from London.

More on MH 17:

Malaysia Airlines plane crashes in eastern Ukraine; U.S. intelligence blames missile

Malaysia Airlines plane: Latest updates

The Malaysian flight that crashed in Ukraine was on the same route it flew every day

In the world’s interconnected airspace, flights over conflict zones are common

Raw video shows wreckage of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17

Christopher Ingraham writes about politics, drug policy and all things data. He previously worked at the Brookings Institution and the Pew Research Center.



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