Emirates today announced the discontinuation of its daily Dubai – Kiev service come August 1 amid continued political instability in the country.

Passengers booked to travel with Emirates after August 1 will be re-booked for travel on an alternate airline, an Emirates spokesperson said.

Emirates isn’t the first UAE-carrier to pull the plug on operations to Ukraine. Air Arabia and flydubai both suspended flights to Donetsk and scaled back services to Kiev, Kharkiv and Odessa.

With Emirates’ Kiev drop, the fastest and most frequent connections from the Asia Pacific to Ukraine are on Turkish Airlines via Istanbul, Lufthansa via Frankfurt or British Airways ex Heathrow.

As reported by Business Traveller UK (see here), Emirates earlier this week announced Budapest as a new destination served from its Dubai hub starting October 27.

The Gulf airline will fly a two-class A330-200 aircraft on the route, with 27 seats in business class and 251 in economy. To view a seatplan, click here.

Outbound service EK111 will depart Dubai at 0820 and arrive at Budapest Airport at 1135 local time. Return flight EK112 will take-off from Budapest at 1505 and land at Dubai International Airport at 2330 local time.

This new service is great news for the de facto flag carrier-deprived Hungary. After national carrier Malev’s unfortunate demise in February 2012, Hungary still struggles to establish a new national carrier. So far the outlook is rather bleak. The only ‘national’ airline operating in the country at present is Sólyom Hungarian Airways with a fleet of one singular 162-seat B737-500 aircraft that’s seen better days.

Etihad and Qatar Airways also serve Budapest, usually undercutting legacy carriers British Airways and Lufthansa in total travel times from the Asia Pacific to the eastern European metropole.

For more information, visit emirates.com

Dominic Sebastian Lalk