As reported by the WSJ:

Ukrainian aviation regulators Friday fully closed the airspace over eastern Ukraine, following Thursday’s crash there of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17, which U.S. intelligence agencies say was brought down by a surface-to-air missile.

The agency said the no-fly zone affects the Donetsk, Luhansk and Khakiv areas of eastern Ukraine.

It seems more than sensible. The Ukrainian airspace had been the subject of many warnings in the past already (most notable from the FAA). MH17 even climbed from 31,000 to 33,000 feet upon entering that airspace.

A country without airspace. (image credit: FlightRadar24)

Flying over Ukraine was a risk-opportunity calculation for all the airlines—sorry to be that cold. The route is popular for flights between Europe and Asia and re-routing over Turkey and Bulgaria, as many started doing yesterday, is simply less cost-efficient.

The warnings were probably not strong enough. But, let's be honest, very few would have imagined a civil airliner being shot down like that.

The risk was thought to be too remote.

A Buk missile can hit a target at 49,000 feet. (image credit: WSJ)

The closing of the airspace should also solve the maddening issue that FlightRadar24 raised earlier today:

Airlines shouldn't have been telling their customers they're avoiding the doomed airspace if they ended up doing so. No BS. No excuses.

I'm glad that, as customers, we have access to the technology to witness this. 

Below, an example on how MH reacted, re-routing its following flights ASAP.