Amid US-Tehran tensions, Indian airlines decide to avoid part of Iranian airspace

WION Web Team
New Delhi, Delhi, India Published: Jun 22, 2019, 04:44 PM(IST)

File photo: Air India Photograph:( PTI )

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United States Federal Aviation Administration on Thursday issued an emergency order prohibiting US operators from flying in an overseas area of Tehran-controlled airspace over the Strait of Hormuz and Gulf of Oman.

All Indian operators, in consultation with Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA), on Saturday, decided to avoid the affected part of Iranian airspace to ensure safe travel for the passengers, news agency ANI reported. All flights will be re-routed suitably.

Air India CMD Ashwani Lohani said, "No substantial effect on Air India flights. Details being worked out for rerouting incoming flights," ANI reported.

This comes shortly after Etihad Airways announced the suspension of operations through Iranian airspace over the Strait of Hormuz and the Gulf of Oman, news agency Reuters reported, adding that the airline will use alternative flight paths on a number of routes to and from its home base of Abu Dhabi until further notice.

United States Federal Aviation Administration on Thursday issued an emergency order prohibiting US operators from flying in an overseas area of Tehran-controlled airspace over the Strait of Hormuz and Gulf of Oman.

Some other international airlines are taking related precautions too.

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Some of the world's leading carriers including British Airways, Qantas and Singapore Airlines on Friday suspended flights over the Strait of Hormuz, as Iran-US tensions flared over the downing of a drone, news agency AFP reported. 

The suspensions affected thousands of passengers and came after the Federal Aviation Administration in the United States issued a Notice to Airmen (NOTAM), "prohibiting US-registered aircraft from operating over the Persian Gulf and Gulf of Oman". 

Tehran on Saturday said that its airspace was safe, state media reported quoting Iran's Civil Aviation Organization.

"Iran-controlled airspace over the Persian Gulf and other flight routes are completely safe," its spokesman, Reza Jafarzadeh, was quoted as saying.

This comes at the time when tensions seem to escalate between Tehran and Washington.

Earlier in the day, Iran warned of tough retaliation in case United States resorts to any form of aggression against the Islamic republic.

"Firing one bullet towards Iran will set fire to the interests of America and its allies", armed forces general staff spokesman Brigadier General Abolfazl Shekarchi told the Tasnim news agency.

"Today, the situation in the region is to Iran’s advantage.

President Donald Trump said Friday that the United States was "cocked & loaded" to strike Iran but pulled back at the last minute as it would not have been a "proportionate" response to Tehran's shooting down of an unmanned US drone.

Watch: Is a US-Iran conflict imminent?

The downing of the drone - which Tehran insists violated its airspace, a claim Washington denies - has seen tensions between the two countries spike after a series of attacks on oil tankers the US has blamed on Iran.

Trump later stated that he aborted retaliatory strike to spare Iranian lives. 

(With inputs from agencies)
 

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