Global airlines reroute services to avoid flying over Iran

Forum Gandhi Mumbai | Updated on June 21, 2019

An airline statement said the decision was due to current events in Iran and issues with flying over its airspace

Tension between the US and Iran is impacting the aviation industry, with major airlines announcing new routes or cancelling sectors to avoid flying over Iranian airspace.

United Airlines, for example, has suspended its operations between Newark and Mumbai for an indefinite period. An airline statement said the decision was due to current events in Iran and issues with flying over its airspace.

“Given current events in Iran, United has conducted a thorough safety and security review of our India service through Iranian airspace and decided to suspend our service between New York/Newark and India (Mumbai) beginning this evening.”

This comes after the US Federal Aviation Administration on Thursday issued an emergency order prohibiting US operators from flying in Tehran-controlled airspace and over the Strait of Hormuz as well as the Gulf of Oman due to heightened tensions.

The airline said it would onboard all passengers on alternative flights. “US customers travelling on these flights will experience extended flight times due to a change in our normal flight path,” it added.

US operators said that they are in constant conversation with their passengers for assistance in rebooking. “We continue to explore all our options and remain in close contact with relevant government authorities in order to provide our customers with the most efficient travel experience under these circumstances.”

KLM too decided not to fly over the Iranian airspace as a “precautionary measure”. An airline statement on Friday said that safety was paramount.

The issue has come into the spotlight after Iran shot down a US drone in the strategic region. “The incident with the drone is reason not to fly over the Strait of Hormuz for the time being. This is a precautionary measure,” said the Dutch airline. British Airways, too, rerouted flights away from the strait while Australia’s Qantas, and Germany’s Lufthansa said they too would avoid the region.

Published on June 21, 2019

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