Several international airlines have complied with the US guideline of avoiding Iran-controlled airspace and are now re-routing their flights.
In an emergency order on Thursday, US aviation regulator, Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), had prohibited US flight operators to fly in the Iranian airspace, after Iran shot down a high-altitude US drone with a surface-to-air missile.
Overwater area of the Strait of Hormuz and the Gulf of Oman in the Iran-controlled airspace also comes in the ambit of US prohibition.
Following the FAA order, United Airlines suspended flights between Newark and Mumbai, that flew via Iranian airspace. Two other US carriers, American Airlines and Delta Air Lines, said they did not fly over Iran.
In July 2014, Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 was shot down by a missile over Ukraine, killing all 298 on board, prompting carriers to take more steps to uncover threats to their planes.
The US prohibition does not apply to airlines from other countries, but OPSGROUP, which provides guidance to global aviation operators, said that the US prohibition would be taken into consideration by carriers globally.
“Since the MH17, all countries rely on advice from the US, the UK, France and Germany to highlight airspace risk. The threat of a civil aircraft shootdown in southern Iran is real.” OPSGROUP was quoted as saying to Reuters.
Japanese carriers Japan Airlines and All Nippon Airways also said that they avoided flying over the area.
Malaysia Airlines, Australia’s Qantas Airways, Singapore Airlines, Germany’s Lufthansa, British Airways and KLM of the Netherlands said they were re-routing flights to avoid the area.