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Emirates axes flights over Iraq

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  • Emirates axes flights over Iraq

    Emirates axes flights over Iraq in wake of MH17 missile strike, raising pressure on other carriers to follow

    • Emirates will stop flying over Iraq and re-route planes to other flight paths
    • Airline president Sir Tim Clark said he hoped other airlines would follow suit
    • It comes amid fears of missile strikes and dangers posed by Islamic militants
    • MH17 shot down by a surface-to-air missile in Ukraine, killing 298 on board

    By Emma Glanfield
    Published: 00:34 EST, 28 July 2014 | Updated: 05:30 EST, 28 July 2014
    View comments

    A major international airline has axed flights over Iraq due to concerns about missile strikes following the loss of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17.
    Emirates has decided to re-route planes along different flight paths amid concerns about the dangers posed by Islamic militants on the ground, it has emerged.
    Sir Tim Clark, president of the Dubai-based airline, said he believed other airlines would soon follow suit as he called for government agencies to offer more advice about flying over conflict zones.


    Sir Tim Clark, president of Dubai-based airline Emirates, said planes would be re-routed along different flight paths over the next week to 10 days amid concerns about missile strikes and the dangers posed by militants

    The move comes after MH17 was shot down by a surface-to-air missile while travelling over eastern Ukraine, killing all 298 on board, on July 17.
    Mr Clark said Emirates flights would be re-routed over the next week to ten days and confirmed routes being considered included over Saudi Arabia and the Red Sea, over Cairo and into European airspace, or over Iran.
    He said he had taken action because he was no longer ‘comfortable’ with planes flying over ISIS-held territory in Iraq.


    ‘This is a political animal but the fact of the matter is MH17 changed everything, and that was very nearly in European airspace,’ he told The Times.
    ‘We cannot continue to say, “Well it’s a political thing”. We have to do something. We have to take the bull by the horns.’
    Emirates currently operates the largest number of flights over Iraq, with more than 50 a day travelling in and out of British airports.
    The country lies on the border of the main flight path between Europe and Asia, with hundreds of aircraft passing over it each day. A popular route is over the Iraqi city of Mosul, a stronghold of ISIS militants.


    The above map, which shows routes taken by major airline carriers this month, shows how planes are flying over dangerous areas of the world. Dotted lines are probable routes for which exact data is not available


    The above graphic shows the flight paths of a snapshot of planes flying over Mosul, an ISIS stronghold in Iraq, last weekend. The prospect has been raised that ISIS has missiles which could shoot down a plane

    ISIS, the terrorist group which took over swathes of Iraq in June and declared it an 'Islamic State', are a brutal, anti-West group which has boasted of holding mass executions, crucifixion and imposing hardline Islamic law on its conquered territory.
    The move by Emirates comes ahead of a scheduled meeting between airline industry groups today, which will see chiefs discuss possible ways to reduce the risks of flying over conflict zones.
    The meeting, held by the International Civil Aviation Organisation – a United Nations body – comes following two major air disasters this month.
    As well as MH17 being shot down, an Air Algerie plane crashed in Mali, north Africa, on Thursday, killing all of the 116 passengers on board. It is not yet clear what brought down the plane.

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  • #2
    Interesting... But Baghdad, Basra and Erbil flights are still flying?
    They've only suspended Kiev/Tripoli flights.


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