Qantas Makes Urgent Changes To Flights In Response To Iran Missile Attack
Qantas has made changes to flights in response to Iran's missile attacks on U.S military.
Two Qantas flights that fly through Iranian and Iraqi airspace will be impacted -- the Perth-London return journey -- Flights QF9 and QF10.
"We’re adjusting our flight paths over the Middle East to avoid the airspace over Iraq and Iran until further notice," Qantas told 10 daily.
The airline's flight time for the Perth to London journey will be increased by about 40-50 minutes due to the altered routes.
It will also mean Qantas flight QF9 will reduce passenger numbers in order to carry more fuel for the extra distance.
Passenger numbers and flight time on QF10 will not be affected due to prevailing winds.
Qantas' other flights to and from London, QF1 and QF2, from Singapore, will not be affected as they use an alternative flight path.
The Australian carrier is joined by a number of other airlines avoiding the airspace over Iran and Iraq.
The US Federal Aviation Administration has moved to ban 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.
Several foreign airlines have also said they would stop flying over the affected areas.
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."
Several non-U.S. airlines had flights over parts of Iraq and Iran at the time, according to FlightRadar24 data.
Carriers are increasingly taking steps to limit threats to their planes after Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 was shot down in 2014 by a missile over Ukraine, killing all on board.
Re-routing around conflict airspace adds to flight times and burns extra fuel.
Korean Air Lines Co Ltd and Thai Airways said they had been avoiding Iranian and Iraqi airspace before the attack on U.S. troops.
Transport Canada said it was in close contact with the FAA about the situation in the Middle East and that Air Canada was altering its routes.
India's aviation regulator has not issued formal instructions to airlines yet but has held meetings with those concerned and advised them to remain vigilant and take precautions, an official said.
Singapore Airlines Ltd said after the attacks that all of its flights would be diverted from Iranian airspace.
Malaysia Airlines said it did not fly over Iraqi airspace and would re-route to avoid Iran as a result of the attack.
Taiwan's China Airlines said it would not fly over Iran or Iraq because of the regional tensions.
OPSGROUP, which advises airlines on security threats, said the new U.S. airspace bans were "significant", given that the entire overwater airspace in the region is now unavailable.
"Flights headed to/from the main airports in the region such as Dubai will now need to route through Saudi Arabia's airspace," it said on its website.