Emirates and flydubai cancel flights to Baghdad amid Iran crisis

Emirates and flydubai cancel flights to Baghdad amid Iran crisis
Published: 9 January 2020 - 5 a.m.

Emirates and flydubai cancelled flights to Baghdad on Wednesday following Iran’s missile strike on American military personnel in Iraq.

Tehran launched several ballistic missiles at bases in Iraq housing US-led coalition troops after Donald Trump authorised a drone strike to kill a top Iranian general.

Emirates cited ‘operational reasons’ for cancelling Wednesday’s Dubai-Baghdad and Baghdad-Dubai flights and added that the safety of its passengers, crew and aircraft “will not be compromised”.

A spokesperson for Emirates airline told Gulf News: “We are carefully monitoring the developments and are in close contact with the relevant government authorities with regards to our flight operations, and will make further operational changes if required.”

A flydubai spokesperson said that the airline’s flight to Basra and Najaf in Iraq continued to operate as normal and that it is monitoring the situation “closely”.

Etihad Airways said it is continuing to operate normally and is monitoring the situation.

Royal Jordanian temporarily suspended flights to Baghdad following the US drone strike, which took place close to Baghdad’s airport, but has since lifted the ban.

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

The General Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA) issued a statement saying that it is assessing the situation and will take appropriate measures in due course.

On Wednesday, several major airlines began routing around Iran and Iraq after US regulators placed a ban on US carriers from operating in airspace over Iraq, Iran, the Gulf of Oman and the waters between Iran and Saudi Arabia.

The Federal Aviation Administration (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 US civil aviation operations”.

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