KIEV, Feb. 1 (Xinhua) -- Air traffic over Ukraine grew in 2017 for the first time since the crisis started in the country in 2014, Ukraine's air traffic regulator Ukraerorukh said on Thursday.
Last year, Ukraerorukh provided air navigation services for 253,969 flights, up 18.5 percent compared with 2016, it said in a statement.
In 2017, international flights from and to Ukraine increased by 20.2 percent, while transit and domestic flights rose by 17.9 percent and 13.1 percent respectively.
The Ukrainian air industry was severely hit by the conflict in eastern Ukraine, where hostilities between government troops and pro-independence insurgents have been ongoing since April 2014.
On July 17, 2014, Malaysian Airlines flight MH17 flying from Amsterdam to the Malaysian capital Kuala Lumpur was shot down over the conflict zone in eastern Ukraine. All 298 people on board died.
Since then, the airspace over the conflict-hit region has been completely closed.
Furthermore, the Ukrainian aviation industry was severely affected by the suspension of air traffic with Russia.
In October 2015, Kiev barred all Russian airlines from flying to Ukraine. Transit flights between the two ex-Soviet neighbors were also suspended.