Airlines follow FAA ban of US airlines from flying over Iraq, Iran
THE Federal Aviation Administration has banned US airlines from flying in the airspace over Iran and Iraq and the waters of the Persian Gulf and the Gulf Oman
09 January 2020 - 19:00
The move follows Tuesday night's Iranian missile attack on US military assets based in Iraq in retaliation for the US drone attack last Friday in Baghdad that killed Iran's top military commander, General Qassem Soleimani.
Airlines around the world have also diverted flights from the airspace over Iran, Iraq, and the Persian Gulf. Carriers ranging from Singapore Airlines and Qantas Airways to Air France-KLM and Deutsche Lufthansa AG have said they're avoiding the area, a busy corridor for travel between Europe and Asia, reports Bloomberg.
The carriers are seeking to avoid a repeat of the 2014 disaster when Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 was shot down by a missile over Ukraine amid the conflict with Russia, killing 298 people on board.
Rerouting aircraft to avoid conflict zones can add to flight times and increase fuel consumption, raising costs and increasing emissions. Qantas said diverting its Perth-London flight will add about 40 to 50 minutes to the journey.
Adding to concerns about the regional airspace, a Boeing Co 737 jet flown by Ukraine International Airlines crashed shortly after takeoff from Tehran Wednesday morning, killing all 176 passengers and crew on board. Local officials said initial assessments suggest the incident was caused by a technical issue.
In addition to diverting flights, Lufthansa cancelled a scheduled Wednesday trip from Frankfurt to Tehran, a spokesman said. Emirates and Flydubai said they had scratched flights to Baghdad.
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