Iran crisis sparks ‘airspace restrictions’ and causes passenger delays

Business as usual for most airlines but certain routes have been impacted by increased tensions following US drone strike in Iraq
Iran, General Soleimani, Donald Trump, TUI, Royal Jordanian
Juhasz Imre/Pexels

Routes between Europe and India have been impacted by ‘airspace restrictions’ caused by the recent Iran crisis, although the vast majority of airlines are operating as normal.

Flights on Tui’s route between Gatwick, UK and Goa, India, were delayed by 36 hours because of what the operator described as ‘airspace restrictions’ “due to recent political issues in the Middle East”, according to media reports.

Tensions in the Middle East have escalated sharply after Iran’s top general was killed by a US drone strike in Iraq on Friday on the orders of President Trump.

Few airlines have been interrupted and most schedules are running as normal with flight paths overflying both Iran and Iraq.

Tui declined to explain the nature of the airspace restrictions when contacted by The Independent.

But a report by the newspaper claimed the operator’s TOM30 Gatwick-Goa flight avoided its usual route and travelled over Egypt, avoiding the Arabian Peninsula.

It is business as usual for most airlines. Spokespeople for Etihad and British Airways told the newspaper that the companies are “monitoring the situation” and are in contact with regulators.

Royal Jordanian has now lifted a suspension on flights between Amman and Baghdad.

Jordan’s flag carrier suspended flights to the Iraqi capital last Friday “as a precautionary measure” after the US airstrike, which took place close to Baghdad International Airport.

Gulf Air also suspended flights to the capital “until further notice”.

AVB has approached regulators for comment.

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