Many Airlines Avoid Iranian/Iraqi Air Space

As tensions rose between Iran and the USA, many airlines are avoiding flying over  Iran and Iraq until the situation is settling. 

Map of tracked flights over the Persian Gulf showing airlines avoiding Iran and Irak on Friday, January 10

As tensions rose on Tuesday and Wednesday between Iran and the USA, many airlines are avoiding flying over  Iran and Iraq until the situation is settling. 

Some Asian airlines are avoiding Iranian airspace as tensions between Tehran and Washington escalated.

Singapore Airlines said last Wednesday that it is diverting all flights to and from Europe away from Iranian airspace “in view of the latest developments in the region. We are monitoring the situation closely and will make the appropriate adjustments to our routes if necessary,” a Singapore Airlines representative said in a statement.

Singapore’s flagship carrier has regular flights to more than 10 European cities with the shortest route connecting Southeast Asia and Europe passing over Iran and Irak. Other airlines following the same prudent policy are Cathay Pacific, China Airlines, Eva Air, Qantas and Malaysia Airlines in Asia-Pacific as well as Air France, Lufthansa or Swiss in Europe. Lufthansa suspended right away its flights to Teheran.

“Safety is of utmost importance to Malaysia Airlines,” a statement from the carrier said, noting that certain long-haul flights did not fly over Iraq and that it would henceforth avoid Iranian airspace.

Thai Airways International and Philippine Airlines have no plans to divert flights at the moment since these carriers also have no routes through Iranian or Iraqi airspace while Vietnam Airlines indicated not to fly in that part of the world. 

Vietnam Airlines told the Nikkei Asian Review on Wednesday that the state-owned carrier will keep flights far from the conflict zone, although it has no routes passing through the airspace of Iran or Iraq.

Indian news agency ANI quoted government sources as saying that airlines have been told to avoid the airspace of Iran, Iraq and the Gulf in the wake of regional tensions.

While they have been no indication of strong delays between Asia and the rest of the world, the tension between both Iran and the USA de-escalated on Thursday morning. although the situation remains tense in the region. For airlines, diverting flights from normal routes could mean longer flight times and higher fuel costs.