Qan­tas ad­justs routes

Travel Daily - - News -

IN RE­SPONSE to ris­ing ten­sions be­tween Iran and the United States, Qan­tas has an­nounced it will be cir­cum­nav­i­gat­ing air space over Iran and Iraq un­til fur­ther no­tice for safety rea­sons.

The route ad­just­ment will add an es­ti­mated 50 min­utes to Perth-Lon­don flights and will also re­quire the air­line to re­duce its pas­sen­ger num­bers to cater for the fuel con­sid­er­a­tions.

In a state­ment, Qan­tas said it was cur­rently in­ves­ti­gat­ing other op­tions to “min­imise dis­rup­tion.

“We’re look­ing at tem­po­rar­ily rout­ing QF9 through Asia un­til we’re able to re­turn to our nor­mal flight path through the Mid­dle East,” the car­rier said.

“This would mean a fuel stop in a city like Sin­ga­pore or Hong Kong but it would en­able us to still carry a full load of pas­sen­gers on these heav­ily-booked flights,” Qan­tas added.

The move fol­lows a num­ber of air­lines re­cal­i­brat­ing their in­ter­na­tional routes over the trou­bled re­gion, with Air Canada an­nounc­ing overnight that it had rerouted five of its flights from Toronto to Dubai to avoid Iraqi air space as a pre­cau­tion.

The US Fed­eral Avi­a­tion Ad­min­is­tra­tion has also stepped in to pro­hibit all US car­ri­ers from fly­ing over the re­gion fol­low­ing an Ira­nian mis­sile at­tack on US bases in Iraq this week.

Es­ca­lat­ing safety fears even fur­ther was the crash of a Ukraine In­ter­na­tional Air­lines flight shortly af­ter take­off from Tehran yes­ter­day, killing all 176 pas­sen­gers and crew on board.

Al­though the tragic in­ci­dent was ini­tially at­trib­uted to a likely me­chan­i­cal is­sue by both Iran and the Ukraine Gov­ern­ments, Ukrainian Pres­i­dent Volodymyr Ze­len­sky said this morn­ing the coun­try had sent a team of in­ves­ti­ga­tors to “es­tab­lish the truth”, cast­ing doubt over the ini­tial as­ser­tion.

“Our pri­or­ity is to es­tab­lish the truth and those re­spon­si­ble for this ter­ri­ble catas­tro­phe,” Ze­len­sky said in a state­ment.

Ukraine In­ter­na­tional Air­lines also added that “er­ror prob­a­bil­ity is min­i­mal”, stat­ing “we do not even con­sider such a chance”.

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