Font Size

- Aa +

Sat 22 Jun 2019 10:53 AM

Font Size

- Aa +

UAE regulator urges airlines to review flight paths amid tensions

General Civil Aviation Authority says carriers need to avoid operating in areas 'that could jeopardise civil aviation safety and operations'

UAE regulator urges airlines to review flight paths amid tensions
(FABRICE COFFRINI/AFP/Getty Images)

The General Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA) has called on air operators in the UAE to evaluate flight paths affected by recent airspace restrictions in the region.

In a statement carried by state news agency WAM, the GCAA said that given current regional developments and as a precautionary measure, UAE-registered air operators need to avoid operating in areas "that could jeopardise civil aviation safety and operations".

The GCAA's comments comes as Emirates Airline and Etihad Airways said Friday they have rerouted flights, a day after Iran shot down a US reconnaissance drone over the Strait of Hormuz.

Some of the world's leading carriers, including British Airways, Qantas and Singapore Airlines, suspended flights over the strategic waterway amid escalating tensions between Washington and Tehran.

"In light of the current situation, Emirates has taken precautionary measures including rerouting all flights away from areas of possible conflict," a spokesperson for the Dubai-based airline said.

"We are carefully monitoring the ongoing developments and are in close contact with the relevant government authorities with regards to our flight operations, and will make further operational changes if the need arises."

The suspensions came after the Federal Aviation Administration in the United States issued a Notice to Airmen (NOTAM) "prohibiting US-registered aircraft from operating over the Gulf and Gulf of Oman".

Abu Dhabi-based Etihad Airways said following the NOTAM it had "agreed to change a number of the flight paths we operate to and from the Arabian Gulf."

Meanwhile, Dubai's low-cost carrier flydubai said it "adjusted some of the existing flight paths in the region as a precautionary measure".

The NOTAM was in response to "heightened military activities and increased political tensions that might place commercial flights at risk", an FAA statement said, as Tehran and Washington engaged in a war of words over Thursday's missile strike on the drone.

Iran's downing of the drone -- which Washington insists was above international waters but Iran says was within its airspace -- has seen tensions between the two countries spike further after a series of attacks on tankers blamed by the US on Tehran.

* With AFP

For all the latest transport news from the UAE and Gulf countries, follow us on Twitter and Linkedin, like us on Facebook and subscribe to our YouTube page, which is updated daily.