Top international airlines have halt flying through Iranian and Iraqi airspace and canceled flights to the region after Tehran fired ballistic missiles against bases housing US troops in Iraq.
Iran launched a series of missiles at the bases housing US troops in the early hours, officials in Washington and Tehran said.
Iran’s supreme leader later called it a “slap in the face” after a US drone strike killed Iranian military commander Qasem Soleimani near Baghdad international airport last week.
The region is an important corridor for flights traveling between Europe and Asia, although planes can be rerouted.
Shortly after the missile attacks, the US Federal Aviation Administration said it was banning US-registered carriers from flying over Iraq, Iran and the Gulf.
In the same vein, France announced that it has suspended flights to the region.
“As a precautionary measure and following news of airstrikes underway, Air France has decided to suspend until further notice all flights through Iranian and Iraqi airspace,” an Air France spokesman told AFP.
A KLM spokesman also confirmed that all flights to different Southeast Asian destinations and other destinations in the Middle East will be flown through alternative routes
In Germany, Lufthansa said it had canceled its daily flight to Tehran in addition to halting overflights of Iran and Iraq until further notice.
It added that Saturday’s twice-weekly service to northern Iraqi city Erbil would also not depart.
UAE carriers Emirates Airline and low-cost Flydubai said they had canceled flights to Baghdad for “operational reasons”.
Also, Australia’s Qantas said one of its London-Perth flights would be rerouted, with the other already flying an alternative route.
“We’re adjusting our flight paths over the Middle East to avoid the airspace over Iraq and Iran until further notice,” said a spokesman.
Both Singapore Airlines and Malaysia Airlines said they would divert flights from Iranian airspace.
Vietnam Airlines said it will make “appropriate adjustments” of routes to avoid areas of potential instability although its regular flight paths to Europe do not pass over Iran and Iraq.