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Israel Attack on Iran Forces Airlines to Alter Routes Urgently

Following an Israeli attack on Iran, significant disruptions unfolded across the region's airspace and airport operations, prompting airlines to swiftly adjust their flight paths and schedules. Iran responded by closing its airports in Tehran, Shiraz, and Isfahan immediately after the attack. Additionally, flights were temporarily barred from the western portion of Iranian airspace. Flight tracking data from FlightRadar24 revealed the dynamic response of airlines to these closures.

By 0445 GMT, the affected airports had reopened, and airspace restrictions were lifted, as indicated by the removal of closure notices from the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration database. However, before the resumption of normal operations, airlines had already begun implementing contingency plans. Flydubai, for instance, announced the cancellation of its Friday flights to Iran, with one of its earlier flights rerouting back to Dubai.

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The impact extended beyond Flydubai, as evidenced by the diversion of an Iran Air flight from Rome to Tehran to Ankara, Turkey. Nevertheless, some airlines, including Emirates, Flydubai, Turkish Air, Wizz Air Abu Dhabi, and Belavia, continued to operate over the parts of Iran's airspace that remained accessible following the initial closures.

Flydubai issued a statement indicating their vigilant monitoring of the situation and commitment to adjusting flight paths in collaboration with relevant authorities. However, the challenges faced by airlines were compounded by recent adverse weather conditions in the United Arab Emirates, resulting in a significant number of flight cancellations to and from Dubai.

The Israeli attack occurred amidst existing concerns over regional security, prompting airlines like Germany's Lufthansa to extend the suspension of flights to Tehran until the end of the month. Moreover, Australia's Qantas Airways rerouted flights between Perth and London to avoid Middle Eastern airspace, necessitating a fuel stop in Singapore.

Acknowledging the evolving situation, Taiwan's China Airlines stated its adherence to the recommendations of aviation safety agencies such as the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration and the European Union Aviation Safety Agency in planning flight routes. Meanwhile, Etihad Airways emphasized its continuous monitoring of security and airspace updates to ensure the safety of its operations, underscoring safety as its top priority.

April 19, 2024 4:26 p.m. 3791

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