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I'm noticing Ukrainian Airlines has some very low fares relative to other airlines for a trip I need to make (AMS to TLV and back). It's a bit of a detour, but for about $200 instead of $300 it looks like it's worth it.

However, I'm worried there's some sort of a "catch". Maybe it's just the fact that Ukraine is not so stable these days with the civil war, so the airline is offsetting that fact with better deals; but - maybe there's some potential danger I should be aware of.

I know there that a Malaysian airliner was shot down near Donetsk in 2014, but:

  • It was a year and a half ago.
  • It hasn't happened since.
  • Going from Europe to Kiyv and then South towards Palestine/Israel does not take you close to the Donbass region.

Are there additional established potential security concerns I should be worried about?

closed as primarily opinion-based by blackbird, JoErNanO, Andrew Ferrier, JonathanReez, CGCampbell Feb 3 '16 at 20:51

Many good questions generate some degree of opinion based on expert experience, but answers to this question will tend to be almost entirely based on opinions, rather than facts, references, or specific expertise. If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

  • General questions about safety are pretty subjective. They depend on your risk tolerance and change with the volatility of unstable regions, I suggest you ask something more specific – blackbird Feb 3 '16 at 15:10
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    The airline may just be discounting their fares to counter a public perception of risk, rather than any actually existing risk. The fact that you asked this question certainly speaks more to the former factor than it does to the latter. – Michael Seifert Feb 3 '16 at 15:11
  • @blackbird57: Tried to make the wording solicit less subjective answers. – einpoklum Feb 3 '16 at 15:18
  • Do those cheap flights happen to be on a sabbath (when you won't get anywhere in Israel, there is even no public transportation to/from the airport)? – Some wandering yeti Feb 3 '16 at 15:25
  • @ptityeti: Good point, but luckily - no, they're not on the Sabbath. – einpoklum Feb 3 '16 at 15:35
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a) EASA doesn't allow unsafe airlines into their airports (like AMS)

b) On top of that, Ukraine International Airlines (UIA), recertified with IOSA just last year

It's as safe as any other airline if you are worried about the planes.

What happened to MH17 was an outlier. You should look at some numbers instead of going "omg civil war ukraine". I recommend the Thinking, Fast and Slow book to study yourself of why are you panicking instead of looking at the numbers.

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    Umm, I'm not panicking, I'm actually considering buying that ticket. The price different just makes me worry I'm overlooking something. – einpoklum Feb 3 '16 at 15:19
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    You expect the OP to read a 500p book before deciding whether or not to travel to Ukraine ? – blackbird Feb 3 '16 at 15:20
  • It is more of a life changing advice than just this travel... my answer covers why OP shouldn't have a problem with flying UIA. – chx Feb 3 '16 at 16:41
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It appears Ukraine airlines gets relative poor reviews overall on this site called SkyTrax, a.k.a. "airlinequality.com". They have a bunch of per-airline reviews... I'm not sure how statistically sound the scores are, but it's something.

Also, as @davidvc suggested, I checcked what it says about the legroom, and well, it seems to be sub par. The seat in general is not well-regarded, actually.

Finally, they seem not to include complementary meals on flights and only offer water.

So, it seems more likely like the price difference is due to a difference in service quality rather than security reasons (although that's not proof that there aren't any security issues).

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