Official advice for New Zealanders living and travelling overseas

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Ukraine: Security Situation

Ukraine

In response to heightened tensions between Russia and Ukraine, we updated our travel advisory for Ukraine on 12 February, advising New Zealanders to leave immediately.

Heavy fighting is ongoing in several areas of Ukraine, including in and around Kyiv and other major cities. There are reports of gun fire, artillery bombardments, explosions and missile strikes. Civilians are being impacted. We advise New Zealanders in Ukraine to seek shelter in a secure place until you judge it is safe to depart. Be alert and aware of your surroundings at all times and always prioritise your immediate safety. Monitor advice from reputable local and international media as well as the SafeTravel website. Where you judge it is safe to do so, you should depart Ukraine.

In Ukraine, transport routes are significantly disrupted as commercial flights have been suspended and the airspace above Ukraine is closed to all commercial aircraft. There have been significant delays at land border crossings for those departing Ukraine. New Zealanders attempting to depart Ukraine may encounter highly congested routes.

Russia

We have also updated our travel advisory for Russia in response to the impact the armed conflict has had within Russia, including on flight availability and access to financial services. Almost all commercial flight routes between Russia and Europe have been cancelled and some other international flight routes out of Russia are also impacted, due to measures taken in response to Russian military action in Ukraine. We advise New Zealanders in Russia to leave while limited commercial options are still available. Check the latest information with your airline or travel provider. 

Some financial services are no longer operational in Russia, including the suspension of international bank card services. Financial services are subject to further disruption at short notice and people should make plans accordingly to ensure they can financially support themselves while in Russia.

We currently advise that New Zealanders do not travel to Ukraine and Russia. Read our full updated travel advisories for Ukraine and Russia.

Flight disruption/impacts in the region

For Kiwis elsewhere in Europe - we are closely monitoring the crisis in Ukraine and potential risks for the wider region.

Airspace closures in response to the Russia-Ukraine armed conflict are causing widespread disruption to flights.

  • The airspace above the Ukraine is closed to all commercial aircraft.
  • Many countries (including all of the EU, the UK and Canada), have fully closed their airspace to airlines and aircrafts from Russia. It is possible that more countries will follow suit.
  • Russia has closed its airspace to airlines from multiple countries, preventing them from landing in or flying over its territory.

Consequently, flight durations may be impacted throughout the region due to route changes caused by the various airspace closures. Airlines have already begun cancelling flights where the intended travel route is no longer viable.

New Zealanders in the region are advised to check with their airline or travel adviser if they have any travel plans in the near future, for the latest information.

New Zealanders in Ukraine requiring urgent consular assistance can contact the New Zealand Embassy in Warsaw (accredited to Ukraine) at nzwsw@nzembassy.pl or the 24/7 Consular emergency line on +64 99 20 20 20. New Zealanders in Russia requiring urgent consular assistance can contact the New Zealand Embassy in Moscow at nzembmoscow@mft.net.nz or the 24/7 Consular emergency line on +64 99 20 20 20.

Associated Advisories:

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