Iran, Iraq: Most airlines avoid flying over Middle East, taking longer routes

Major airlines around the world rerouted or cancelled flights to avoid airspace over Iraq and Iran as tensions escalated in the Middle East following the Iranian missile attack. The moves come after the US Federal Aviation Administration banned US carriers from the region after Iran launched more than a dozen ballistic missiles at US forces in Iraq. The airspace ban prohibits US passenger airlines from flying over Iraq, Iran, the waters of the Gulf and the Gulf of Oman. The European Aviation Safety Agency also recommended that EU commercial flights avoid Iraqi airspace. Air India and Air India Express have rerouted flights over Iranian airspace, which will increase flying times by up to 40 minutes. France suspended all flights over Iranian and Iraqi airspace, while data from flight-tracking website Flightradar24 showed British Airways was also rerouting flights. Meanwhile, Singapore Airlines said its flights to Europe had been diverted. Australian carrier Qantas said it was adjusting its flight paths over the Middle East to avoid the airspace over Iraq and Iran until further notice.

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