Airline Begins Moving Ukraine Refugees Out of Bordering Countries for Free

One airline has offered Ukrainian refugees free passage out of Ukraine's border countries as Russia's attack continues to escalate.

As the invasion into Ukraine enters its seventh day, over 870,000 refugees have fled into Poland, Hungary, Slovakia, Romania and Moldova. Because of this, a budget airline announced on Tuesday that they will be offering free transport to other countries.

Wizz Air, a Hungarian airline, tweeted that the airline is "committed to helping Ukrainian refugees reach their destination, wherever that may be."

The airline offered up 100,000 free seats on flights leaving Poland, Slovakia, Hungary and Romania this month.

The carrier is also offering a €29.99 ($33.32) "rescue fare" to citizens who are stranded elsewhere, though passengers must show a Ukrainian passport number in order to qualify for these.

Wizz Air CEO Jozsef Varadi said in an official statement, "We have already seen great humanitarian efforts on the ground by our people across the network, and as a company we wanted to play our part in these efforts."

Khaziskstan carrier Air Astana also said that it has "repatriated" almost 300 Kazakh citizens from Ukraine free of charge, according to aviation news outlet Simple Flying.

And Ryanair, an Irish airline, has been flying in humanitarian cargo to Polish airports "for the first time in 30 years," said the airline's chief executive, Michael O'Leary to the Guardian.

In addition to the rescue missions in the air, Eurostar, a rail service between the United Kingdom, France, Belgium and the Netherlands, has offered free tickets to refugees who wish to travel to the United Kingdom. However, a travel visa to the U.K. is required before being able to claim this deal.

Eurostar announced on its website that visa documents "will be checked by the U.K. Border Force during the check-in process. The U.K. government is regularly reviewing the criteria for Ukrainian refugees to enter the U.K., so we would strongly recommend contacting the British Embassy or checking the U.K. government website for the latest information."

They also added that pets will not be allowed to travel on Eurostar at this time.

Following the start of the invasion on February 24, the European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) announced the closure of several airspaces, including Ukraine, Moldova, Russia and Belarus.

Willie Walsh, director general of the International Air Transport Association (IATA), told Newsweek in an earlier report, "IATA is helping to facilitate the relevant and timely sharing of information with airlines from government and non-government sources to support airlines as they plan their operations around airspace closures in Ukraine and parts of Russia."

Newsweek reached out to the International Air Transport Association for comment.

General views of Eindhoven Airport
Wizz Air announced they are offering 100,000 free seats to Ukraine refugees departing from bordering countries. Here, a Wizz Air Airbus A320-232 plane is seen arriving at Eindhoven Airport on November 20, 2020 in Eindhoven, The Netherlands. Joris Verwijst/BSR Agency/Getty Images