Airlines avoid Iranian airspace as tensions rise

World Sunday 23/June/2019 13:21 PM
By: Times News Service
Airlines avoid Iranian airspace as tensions rise

Muscat: A number of airlines around the world have announced that they are avoiding parts of Iran's airspace amid rising tensions between the US and Iran.

The US Federal Aviation Administration announced a ban on US airlines flying over airspace near the Straight of Hormuz, saying that "heightened military activities and increased political tensions in the region, which present an inadvertent risk to US civil aviation operations and potential for miscalculation or mis-identification."

Etihad Airways also announced it was suspending operations through Iranian airspace over the Strait of Hormuz and the Gulf of Oman.

In a statement, airline said, "Following the decision yesterday of the US Federal Aviation Administration to restrict US airline operations in Iranian-controlled airspace, Etihad Airways consulted closely with the UAE General Civil Aviation Authority and other UAE airlines to evaluate the US action."

"Etihad Airways has subsequently suspended operations through Iranian airspace over the Straits of Hormuz and the Gulf of Oman, and will use alternative flight paths on a number of routes to and from Abu Dhabi until further notice," it added in a statement shared with state media.

The airline said that these changes would cause delays on some departures from Abu Dhabi, "due to increased congestion in available airspace, and will increase journey times on some routes."

According to the Emirates News Agency (WAM), Emirates has also taken precautionary measures including rerouting all flights away from areas of possible conflict.

A spokesman from the airline was quoted saying, "We are carefully monitoring the ongoing developments and are in close contact with the relevant government authorities with regards to our flight operations, and will make further operational changes if the need arises."

The re-routings would have minimally affected the arrival/departure timings of some flights, and customers were urged to check the latest schedules on , so they can be informed of any flight changes. As always, the safety of our passengers, crew and aircraft is our number one priority and will not be compromised, he concluded.

Airlines in India will also be avoiding the airspace.

"All Indian operators in consultation with DGCA (Directorate General of Civil Aviation) have decided to avoid the affected part of Iranian Airspace to ensure safe travel for the passengers. They will re-route flights suitably," the DGCA announced.