Several airlines avoid flying through Iran and Iraq airspace due to security risks
Several major airlines are re-routing flights to avoid airspace over Iraq and Iran due to security risks after a Ukrainian passenger plane exploded mid-air and crashed near Tehran hours after a series of coordinated Iranian missile attacks on US forces in Iraq.
The Federal Aviation Administration banned U.S. carriers from the area following an Iranian missile attack on U.S.-led forces in Iraq.
The FAA said it issued the airspace ban, which also includes the Gulf of Oman and the waters between Iran and Saudi Arabia, “due to heightened military activities and increased political tensions in the Middle East, which present an inadvertent risk to US civil aviation operations”.
Ukraine’s Prime Minister said that from tomorrow all flights to Iran will be frozen.
The Russian Federal Air Transport Agency, Rosaviatsia, told Russian air carriers to avoid flights in the airspace of Iraq, Iran, the Gulf and the Gulf of Oman.
Air Canada, Singapore Airlines, Malaysia Airlines and Srilankan Airlines altered their routes to avoid Iranian airspace.
Air France and KLM, have suspended until further notice “all overflights of Iranian and Iraqi airspace”.
“As a precautionary measure and following news of airstrikes underway, Air France has decided to suspend until further notice all flights through Iranian and Iraqi airspace,” an Air France spokesman said.
In Germany, Lufthansa announced that it had canceled its daily flight to Tehran.
UAE carriers Emirates Airline and low-cost Flydubai said they had cancelled flights to Baghdad for “operational reasons”.
Australia’s Qantas said one of its London-Perth flights would be rerouted, with the other already flying an alternative route.
“We’re adjusting our flight paths over the Middle East to avoid the airspace over Iraq and Iran until further notice,” said a spokesman.
Vietnam Airlines said it will make “appropriate adjustments” of routes to avoid areas of potential instability although its regular flight paths to Europe do not pass over Iran and Iraq.
Japanese airlines ANA and JAL, and Hong Kong-based Cathay Pacific said their planes do not fly through airspace affected by the latest flare-up.
Before the latest guidance, the FAA had already prohibited US carriers from flying below 26,000 feet over Iraq and from flying over an area of Iranian airspace above the Gulf and Gulf of Oman since Iran shot down a high-altitude US drone last June.