After United Airways New Jersey-Mumbai flight suspension, Dutch airline KLM suspends flights over Strait of Hormuz

Agencies The Hague, Zuid-Holland, Netherlands Jun 21, 2019, 02.47 PM(IST)

KLM flights suspended over Strait of Hormuz Photograph:( Reuters )

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The order came hours after United Airlines suspended flights between New Jersey's Newark airport and the Indian financial capital of Mumbai, which fly through Iranian airspace.

Dutch airline KLM said Friday it has suspended its flights over the Strait of Hormuz after Iran shot down a US drone in the strategic region.

"Safety is the top priority for KLM," it said in a statement.

"We closely follow all developments that may be related to the safety of airspace 24/7 and we organise the operation in such a way that the safety of the flights is guaranteed.

"The incident with the drone is reason not to fly over the Strait of Hormuz for the time being. This is a precautionary measure."

Iran's downing of the drone - which Washington insists was above international waters but Iran says was within its airspace -- has seen tensions between the two countries spike further after a series of attacks on tankers the US has blamed on Tehran.

Earlier on Thursday, the US Federal Aviation Administration issued an emergency order prohibiting US operators from flying in an overwater area of Tehran-controlled airspace over the Strait of Hormuz and the Gulf of Oman due to heightened tensions.

The order came hours after United Airlines suspended flights between New Jersey's Newark airport and the Indian financial capital of Mumbai, which fly through Iranian airspace.

FAA said according to flight tracking applications, the nearest civil aircraft was operating within around 45 nautical miles of a U.S. Global Hawk drone when it was shot down by an Iranian surface-to-air missile.

Inputs: AFP, Reuters