US-Iran tensions force airlines to reroute flights

ABU DHABI: The General Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA) of the United Arab Emirates has asked registered air operators to reroute their flights after Iran shot down a US reconnaissance drone over the Strait of Hormuz.

Given the current regional developments and as a precautionary measure, the UAE-registered air operators need to avoid operating in areas that could jeopardise safety and operations, Gulf news reported quoting a GCAA statement.

Earlier, Fly Dubai and Emirates said they had “adjusted some of their flight paths” after the US drone was shot down over the Gulf of Oman on Thursday.

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“Fly Dubai is aware of the ‘notice to airmen’ (NOTAM) issued by the US Federal Aviation Administration for US-based airlines. Fly Dubai has adjusted some of the existing flight paths in the region. We continue to monitor the situation and make changes when necessary,” a Fly Dubai spokesperson said on Friday.

Emirates, which has also taken precautionary measures, including re-routing all flights away from areas of possible conflict, said, “We are monitoring the ongoing developments and are in close contact with the relevant government authorities with regards to our flight operations.”

Abu-Dhabi based Etihad Airways in a statement released to Gulf News said it was also re-routing relevant flights. “Etihad has suspended operations through Iranian airspace over the Straits of Hormuz and the Gulf of Oman, and will use alternative flight paths on a number of routes to and from Abu Dhabi until further notice,” it said.

Air Arabia spokesperson stated that the airline had taken precautionary measures to avoid areas of possible conflict. “We are monitoring the situation and working with the UAE civil aviation authority in this regard,” it said.

Earlier, American carrier United Airlines stated that it had suspended New York/Newark-Mumbai flights on Friday. Qantas, Air France and KLM later announced they would also avoid flying through the region.

Singapore Airlines and Malaysia Airlines also announced to join other airlines in rerouting flights away from the Strait of Hormuz.


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