The devastating plane crash involving a Ukraine International Airlines flight in Iran earlier this week has travelers all over the world on alert. The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has officially banned all United States civilian aircraft from flying over certain areas while tensions between the United States and Iran are escalating. Here's a list of the places mentioned in the FAA's official Notice to Airmen (NOTAM):
- The Persian Gulf
- The Gulf of Oman
The FAA is warning travelers that increased political tensions in the Middle East are creating a potential for misidentification and miscalculation. Airlines from around the world are responding to the tense situation by altering and canceling routes.
Ukraine International Airlines made the decision to indefinitely suspend flights to Tehran following the devastating crash. The crash of a Boeing 737-800 plane operated by Ukraine International Airlines claimed the lives of all 167 passengers aboard when it plummeted from the sky just moments after taking off. In addition, all 9 crew members on the plane were killed. News reports initially blamed engine failure. However, reports that detail how the plane was shot out of the sky are now emerging.
Airlines from around the world are in the midst of responding in the face of danger and political tensions. Air France, Lufthansa, Malaysia Airlines and Taiwan's EVA Air have all agreed to avoid the airspace that has been singled out by the FAA. Singapore Airlines has decided to avoid flying over Iran. Qantas is also currently working on reconfiguring routes to avoid the airspace that is being impacted by current affairs.
One thing that makes the prospect of rerouting so complicated for airlines is that the impacted airspace is heavily used for traffic in and out of the United Arab Emirates. Of course, all of this is developing by the minute. It will be important to check the status of any flight that could be impacted by the FAA's flight restrictions.