Date
24 May 2017
Cathay Pacific is rerouting some flights as Russia has stepped up its air campaign against insurgents in Syria. Photo: Bloomberg
Cathay Pacific is rerouting some flights as Russia has stepped up its air campaign against insurgents in Syria. Photo: Bloomberg

Cathay avoids flying over Iran after missile warning

Cathay Pacific Airways said on Wednesday that it has stopped flying over Iran and the Caspian Sea after an air safety body issued a warning about Russian missiles being fired at Syria.

“In view of the situation in the region, Cathay Pacific suspended all flights over Iran and Caspian Sea since last Thursday until further notice,” the Hong Kong carrier said in a statement.

The airline said it had received safety advisories from the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) and also the UN International Civil Aviation Organization, Agence France-Presse reported.

Cathay already has a long-term policy not to overfly Iraq, Afghanistan, Ukraine and Syria.

EASA issued a safety advisory as Russia has intensified its air campaign against insurgents in Syria and last week also launched a salvo of cruise missiles from its warships in the Caspian.

In its bulletin, EASA said “missiles en-route to Syria crossed airspace in Iran and Iraq below flight routes used by commercial transport aeroplanes”.

The advisory was issued to avoid a repeat of the tragedy involving Malaysia Airlines flight MH17, which was shot down over war-torn eastern Ukraine last year, killing all 298 people on board, AFP noted.

Dutch investigators concluded in their final report released this week that the Boeing 777 was brought down by a Russian-made BUK missile.

 

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RA/RC

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