Airlines told to stay away from Iranian airspace

Safety precautions are being taken after the US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) issued an emergency order.

  
Image used for illustrative purpose An Airbus A350 XWB aircraft, Airbus's newest plane, taxies after landing for its market survey at Haneda airport in Tokyo November 19, 2014.

Image used for illustrative purpose An Airbus A350 XWB aircraft, Airbus's newest plane, taxies after landing for its market survey at Haneda airport in Tokyo November 19, 2014.

REUTERS/Toru Hanai

Leading airlines around the world, including all UAE airlines, are rerouting some of their flight paths to avoid Iranian airspace amid the ongoing US-Iran tensions.

The UAE's General Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA) called on registered air operators to avoid areas "that could jeopardise civil aviation safety and operations".

India's Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) announced that all Indian airlines have decided to avoid the affected parts of the Iranian airspace.

British Airways, KLM, Lufthansa, Malaysia Airlines, Singapore Airlines and American-registered airlines are also adjusting their flight paths.

The safety precautions are being taken after the US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) issued an emergency order to ban American carriers from flying over the Strait of Hormuz and Gulf of Oman, which are both in Iran-controlled airspace.

Abu Dhabi-based airline Etihad on Saturday issued a statement about rerouting some of its flights. "Following the decision yesterday of the US FAA 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 Strait 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.

"These changes will cause delays on some departures from Abu Dhabi, due to increased congestion in available airspace, and will increase journey times on some routes.

"The safety of our passengers and staff is the highest priority for Etihad Airways, and we are continually engaging with regulatory authorities and conducting our own risk assessments to ensure that our standards are not compromised," the statement read.

The DGCA also shared the flight path adjustment news on Twitter.

"All Indian operators in consultation with DGCA have decided to avoid the affected part of Iranian Airspace to ensure safe travel for the passengers. They will re-route flights suitably," the authority said in a tweet.

Following the DGCA's advisory, India's biggest state-run carrier, Air India, on Saturday confirmed that it would be rerouting flights.

"Air India has received the DGCA notice regarding operations in the Iranian airspace and we are monitoring the situation," Air India spokesman Dhananjay Kumar said.

"We will take appropriate actions whenever necessary to prevent inconvenience to passengers."

The ban by the US FAA came a day after Iran shot down a US drone, the unarmed Global Hawk Aircraft, on Thursday.


 

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