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Monday 15 April 2024

Airlines switch flight routes amid Middle East Tensions

Planning to fly to/from or over the Middle East? Prepare for schedule changes, delays or cancellations.

Qantas is just one of several major airlines to announce the re-routing of its international flights to avoid airspace over the Middle East amid escalating tensions in the region.

The decisions come in response to growing concerns over the safety and security of air travel following Israel's ongoing bastardry (sorry, murderous self-defence tactics).

In addition to Qantas, airlines including Emirates, Etihad Airways and British Airways have also made adjustments to flight paths.

Qantas has said it will re-route its flights between Australia and Europe to avoid flying over the Persian Gulf and Iraq.

British Airways has announced that it will temporarily suspend flights to and from Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Qantas's direct Perth-London flights will now stop in Singapore for re-fuelling.

This is due to the extra distance required to avoid "at risk" airspace in the region. Qantas says it could add several hours to the total journey time.

SWISS, meanwhile, announced that "in view of the latest developments in the Middle East, we have decided to suspend SWISS flight operations to and from Tel Aviv Airport (top) until further notice. At SWISS, the safety of our crews and our passengers always has paramount priority.

"We continue to monitor the situation in the Middle East as closely as possible. Our specialists are constantly assessing all the available information, and are also in close and regular contact with all the relevant authorities both locally and in Switzerland."

The US, UK Canada and Australia have all issued advisories urging their citizens to stay vigilant and monitor developments closely.

The UK Foreign Office issued an urgent travel warning for more than a dozen countries in the southern Mediterranean and Middle East region.

”There is rising tension between Iran and Israel. Any military action could escalate quickly and could pose risks for the wider region,” it said.

“If you are in the region, or considering travel to the region, monitor news updates and continue to check FCDO travel advice.”

The travel warning covers Dubai, Morocco, Qatar, Egypt and Tunisia. Also included are Saudi Arabia, Algeria, Bahrain, Kuwait, Libya, Yemen, Iran, Iraq, Syria, Jordan, Oman and Lebanon.

In the United States, the State Department issued a Level 4 “Do Not Travel” advisory for Israel.

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