Commercial Airlines have received warnings from the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) about the potential danger of flying over Iran, Iraq and the Caspian Sea after Russian warships launched missiles against Syrian targets.
However, the European Union’s aviation regulator did not recommend that airlines avoid flying there, at least not yet.
The agency says it has no specific recommendations at this point and was issuing the warning to to inform commercial and civilian users off the airspace about potential hazards. EASA said the warning will be “amended if more specific information is received” about the situation.
The EASA warning comes just before Dutch air safety investigators plan to release a report on the shooting down of Malaysian Airlines flight MH17 over Ukraine airspace last year that killed all 298 people on board. The report is expected to be made public tomorrow (Tuesday). The majority of pre-release blame speculation is that MH 17 was downed by an anti-aircraft missile fired by pro-Russian separatists, even though the Kremlin has denied any involvement and has even suggested the Ukrainian army may have shot down the plane.
In a released statement Air France says that although the airline already doesn’t fly over Syria, Yemen, Iraq or Libya, it has “made adjustments” to take into consideration the EASA warning. The airline did not say what these adjustments are.
Thomas Jachnow, a spokesman for the German carrier Lufthansa says the airline has made no changes to flight paths across the region as it sees no need to do so yet, given available information.
Meanwhile according to the Russian Defence Ministry, Russian jet fighters launched 53 attacks against “rebel targets” in Syria over the last 24 hours, as part of its bombing campaign against the Islamic State.
Ministry spokesman Igor Konashenkov says Russian jets conducted strikes in the provinces of Homs, Hamas, Idlib and Latakia, destroying “terrorist” training camps, command posts, and munitions depots.