AMIDST the crises in the Middle East, a growing number of airlines are suspending flights over Iranian and Iraqi air space.
This development comes after Iran fired “retaliatory” ballistic missiles against two military bases housing United States troops in Iraq. Iran had fired more than dozens missiles few days after US President Donald Trump ordered a strike that killed Iran’s top general.
As a precautionary measure, more airlines are halting flights to the two Middle East countries. Airfrance, Malaysia Airlines, Singapore Airlines, Germany’s Lufthansa, Taiwan’s Eva, Australia’s Qantas, United States, and Ukraine have suspended flights to the region.
The regions is an important corridor for flights travelling between Europe and Asia, although planes can be rerouted.
Shortly after the missile attacks, the Federal Aviation Administration of the US issued a notice restricting non-military US aircraft “from operating in the airspace over Iraq, Iran, and the waters of the Persian Gulf and the Gulf of Oman.”
“As a precautionary measure and following news of airstrikes underway, Air France has decided to suspend until further notice all flights through Iranian and Iraqi airspace,” also announced Air France spokesperson.
The Russian Federal Air Transport Agency also recommended to all Russian airlines to avoid using Iranian and Iraqi airspace.
In Germany, Lufthansa said it cancelled its daily flight to Tehran of Iran in addition to halting overflights of Iran and Iraq until further notice.
Malaysia Airlines also said in a statement that due to recent events, it “will be avoiding the conflict airspace of Iran.”
For Ukraine, Oleksiy Valeriyovych Honcharuk, the Country’s Prime Minister also announced that flight to Iran is banned to take effect on January 9.
Australia’s Qantas said one of its London-Perth flights would be rerouted, with the other already flying an alternative route.
“We’re adjusting our flight paths over the Middle East to avoid the airspace over Iraq and Iran until further notice,” said a spokesman.
Commenting on the launched of the missiles on US troops base, Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said Qasem Soleimani’s death meant “a revolution is alive”.
He warned the US against further attacks stating, “If you hit, you get hit back”.