Qantas Urged to Redirect Planes Flying Over Syrian Conflict

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European aviation authorities have advised airlines to alter routes over the Middle East due to missiles being fired into Syria under the flight path of passenger planes. Qantas has thus far refrained from commenting on the issue.

The warning comes from European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA), who say they were informed of “several launches of missiles from warships” in the Caspian Sea into Syria. The long-range missiles are being fired from Russian warships in the Caspian Sea as part of President Vladimir Putin’s air offensive against Islamic State.

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“Before reaching Syria, such missiles are necessarily crossing the airspace above Caspian Sea, Iran and Iraq, below flight routes which are used by commercial transport aeroplanes,” the October 9 bulletin says.

Qantas had no comments on the EASA’s warning, but a spokesman said the airline always monitored and consulted with the intelligence community on safety risks.

“We have alternative flight paths in place if we decided they were necessary,” he said.

Qantas did re-route its Dubai-London services in the wake of the MH17 disaster last year, flying over Iranian airspace instead of the more direct route over Iraq, to avoid contact with the heavy conflict zone.

European airlines, including Air France and British Airways, are also affected by the EASA’s warning. Air France has already began altering its flight routes in response to the warning, but BA has announced no plans.

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Lisa Nikolau

Lisa Nikolau is a freelance writer who has been specializing in travel, culture and current events since 2012. She currently writes on travel and news related topics for YouTravel.com.au.She has traveled to Peru, throughout west and eastern Europe, and has lived in southern Spain.At the moment, Lisa’s favorite pastimes are learning foreign languages, exploring hiking trails in the Olympic National Forest, and ending the day with friends at one of Seattle’s many microbreweries.