By Sarah Townsend
Department of Transportation says flights were operated in codeshare with American Airlines
Qatar Airways has been fined $185,000 by the US Department of Transportation for flying over prohibited airspace.
The department said in a statement on Thursday that Qatar Airways was operating flights in regions in which a Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) flight prohibition was in effect, while carrying the American Airlines code.
The fine follows an investigation by the department’s Office of Aviation Enforcement and Proceedings, which revealed that in late 2014 and early 2015, certain Qatar Airways flights carrying the AA code operated in foreign airspace and in doing so violated federal laws.
The US is obliged to take action against Qatar Airways because the flights in question operated as codeshares with American Airlines (AA), which have to comply with FAA rules and regulations.
The airline has been ordered to desist from future similar violations, according to the statement.
US Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx said: “Airlines have a responsibility to ensure that they do not fly their planes through prohibited airspace.
“The FAA forbids US flight operations over certain regional conflict zones around the world. The department takes aviation safety and security matters very seriously, and will continue to take enforcement action when these important safety and security restrictions are not followed.”
The statement did not reveal which prohibited airspace Qatar Airways flew over. However, aviation website Travel Weekly reported that the fine resulted from 16 Qatar Airways flights, eight of which were flying over Yemen, seven over restricted parts of Iraq and one in Ukrainian airspace.
And so it starts....