Turkish Airlines, Pegasus Airlines to Resume Flights to Iran, Iraq Later Today

Sunday, 12 Jan, 2020

The security situation in the Middle East region is also tense because of Iran's missile strikes against two United States military bases in Iraq on Wednesday.

The flight restrictions reflected fears that the conflict between the longtime foes could ratchet up following Iranian ballistic missile strikes Tuesday on two Iraqi bases that house US troops.

The conflict was prompted by the assassination of Iranian military general Qassem Suleimani in Baghdad last week, by an American drone strike ordered by U.S. president Donald Trump.

Indian citizens told to avoid travel to Iraq; Navy on standby for evacuation if needed.

Hours after the Iranian missile launch, a Boeing 737 operated by Ukraine International Airlines crashed after take-off from Tehran's Imam Khomeini International Airport, killing 167 passengers and nine crew members.

Ukrainian officials initially agreed, but later backtracked, declining to offer a cause while the investigation continues.

Turk reported Thursday that the country's national airline Turkish Airlines as well as low coaster Pegasus Airlines would resume flights to Iran and Iraq later this day.

Singapore Airlines has also said it will divert all flights from Iranian Airspace. The effect of the restrictions wasn't immediately clear because it had already prohibited US carriers from flying over most of those areas.

Business Traveller Asia-Pacific has contacted Qantas, Malaysia Airlines, Qatar Airways and Eva Air for an update on the situation regarding their flights over Iran and Iraq airspace.

A Lufthansa flight from Frankfurt to Tehran turned back over Romania and headed back toward Germany. The new routes do not significantly change flight times for these flights.

IndiGo does not operate any flights over Iranian and Iraqi airspace, therefore, it does not expect its flights to the Middle East or Turkey to be affected.

"We're adjusting our flight paths over the Middle East to avoid the airspace over Iraq and Iran until further notice", said a spokesman.

Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories. Operators from around the world too have issued similar statements, saying they would avoid flights in and out of Iran, or over Iranian airspace.

Flights which cross the Middle East are being rerouted amid the Iran crisis.

The Russian counterpart, the Federal Air Transport Agency, said it recommends that airlines avoid airspace over Iran, Iraq and the Persian and Oman Gulf "because of information about the current risks to the safety of global passenger flights". They said future route decisions would depend on regional developments.

The altered route will mean flight times on QF9 will increase by roughly 40-50 minutes.

The Russian aviation agency, Rosaviatsia, sent an official recommendation for all domestic airlines to avoid flying over Iran, Iraq, the Persian Gulf and the Gulf of Oman.

The changes come hours after Iran launched a missile attack on Iraqi airbases housing United States forces and a Ukrainian passenger plane crashed shortly after takeoff from Iran's main airport.