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How these travel companies are stepping up to help the people of Ukraine

From providing temporary housing to offering free flights, here’s how the industry is doing its bit

Ed Cunningham
Written by
Ed Cunningham
News Editor, Time Out UK and Time Out London
Eurostar
Photograph: EQRoy/Shutterstock.com
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Following the Russian invasion of Ukraine on February 24, there’s been a tremendous outpouring of support for Ukraine from around the world. Loads of people are trying to do their bit – and that includes travel companies, too. And travel companies, being experts in transport and accommodation, can do more than most when it comes to helping refugees and/or ferrying humanitarian supplies.

Take Wizz Air, for example. An airline based in neighbouring Hungary, Wizz has put aside 100,000 free flights for Ukrainians in Poland, Slovakia, Hungary and Romania. The seats have a load of T&Cs (there’s a special website with all the details), but it’s a gesture that could still seriously help an enormous number of people.

Throughout Europe, rail companies are also providing free travel for Ukrainian refugees. National providers SNCB, Deutsche Bahn, ÖBB and NS are all saying that Ukrainians only need a passport or ID to board their trains. Eurostar has a similar scheme for refugees on trains between Amsterdam, Paris, Lille, Brussels and London, though requires a valid visa for travel to the UK.

In the hospitality sector, organisations like Hospitality For Ukraine and Hospitality Helps are encouraging hotels and accommodation providers to offer free temporary housing for refugees. Similarly, Airbnb has also pledged to provide temporary housing for 100,000 Ukrainian refugees.

Those are the travel companies directly helping out refugees, but there are plenty of others doing other stuff like fundraising and providing logistical assistance. Ryanair, for example, has said it will work with humanitarian organisations to transport medical supplies bound for Ukraine completely free of charge.

Ferry and cruise company Fred Olsen, meanwhile, is crowdfunding to send trucks of aid to victims of the conflict, while glamping firm Canopy and Stars is donating 5 percent of its revenue in March to Choose Love’s Ukraine Crisis Fundraiser.

It’s great that so many travel firms are finding plenty of ways to effectively use their resources to help the people of Ukraine. Hopefully many more follow suit.

Want to do your bit? Here are 18 ways you can help the people of Ukraine. 

Live in the UK? Here’s how you can host Ukrainian refugees in your home.

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