Asian airlines are avoiding Iranian airspace as Middle East tensions escalate

Published on : Wednesday, January 8, 2020

Several airlines said that they would be avoiding Iranian airspace or canceling flights in the wake of heightened tensions in the Middle Eastern countries. Singapore Airlines, China Airlines and Malaysia Airlines were among those which said they’re avoiding the Iranian airspace. Meanwhile, Dubai-based Emirate Airlines and its sister airline flydubai cancelled Wednesday flights to Baghdad.


Emirates said that they are carefully monitoring the developments and are in close contact with the relevant government authorities with regards to their flight operations, and will make further operational changes if required.  The announcements came after Iran launched more than a dozen ballistic missiles against multiple bases housing U.S. troops in Iraq.


Tehran’s attack follows the U.S. killing of Iran’s top general, Qasem Soleimani, last Friday. The tensions in the Middle East rose following his death, with Iran vowing revenge.


In a statement to Singapore Airlines said that in view of the latest developments in the region, all SIA flights in and out of Europe are diverted from the Iranian airspace. They are monitoring the situation closely and will make the appropriate adjustments to our routes if necessary. Taiwan’s China Airlines also said it will not fly over Iran or Iraq due to regional tensions. Australia’s Qantas said it was adjusting flight paths in the Middle East to avoid airspace over Iran and Iraq.



The largest carrier in Taiwan, China Airlines, said in a statement to Reuters that it will continue to monitor the situation and adjust routes accordingly. Another Taiwanese airline, EVA Air and Malaysia Airlines also said they’re avoiding flying over Iran airspace.



Meanwhile, the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration issued notices on Tuesday night outlining flight restrictions that prohibit U.S. civil aviation operators from operating in the airspace over Iraq, Iran, and the waters of the Persian Gulf and the Gulf of Oman.



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