World's airlines suspend flights over Iraq and Iran

World's airlines suspend flights over Iraq and Iran

The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration banned U.S. carriers from operating in the airspace over Iraq, Iran, the Gulf of Oman and the waters between Iran and Saudi Arabia after Iran launched a missile attack on U.S.-led forces in Iraq.

The FAA said it issued the airspace ban “due to heightened military activities and increased political tensions in the Middle East, which present an inadvertent risk to U.S. civil aviation operations.”

But several non-U.S. airlines had flights over parts of Iraq and Iran at the time, according to FlightRadar24 data. They are not directly affected by the FAA ban, but foreign carriers and their national regulators typically consider U.S. advice carefully when deciding where to fly.

France’s airline Air France suspended flights over Iraq and Iran airspace. “Flight plans are adjusted in real time according to the decisions of the French and regional authorities, throughout the world, in order to ensure the highest level of flight safety”, Air France said in a statement.

The Russian Federal Air Transport Agency advised Russian airlines not to use airspace over Iran and Iraq, as well as over the Persian and Oman gulfs. "Due to information on the existing risks to security of international flights of civil aircraft, the Federal Air Transport Agency recommends not using the airspace over the territories of Iran, Iraq, the Persian and Oman gulfs for flights of civil aircraft of the Russian Federation, including transit flights, until further notice," the message said.

Major Kazakhstan’s Air Astana airline company also suspended flights through the airspace over Iraq and Iran. The company has made the decision to change the route of flights from Almaty and Nur-Sultan to Dubai, having excluded flights through the airspace of Iran and Iraq.

According to Air Astana, the time of the flight will increase: on the Almaty – Dubai route by 20 minutes, on Dubai – Almaty route by 10 minutes, on Nur-Sultan – Dubai route by 55 minutes, on Dubai - Nur-Sultan route by 35 minutes.

Today, Iran has delivered missile strikes against at least two military facilities in western Iraq, where U.S. troops are deployed. According to assistant to the U.S. Secretary of Defense for Public Affairs Jonathan Hoffman, Al-Assad and Irbil military bases were targeted.

Ukraine International Airlines Boeing 737 crashed this morning after taking off in Tehran. According to preliminary data, 168 passengers and 9 crew members died in the incident.

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