Qantas is altering the path of its non-stop Perth to London route to avoid the airspace over Iraq and Iran in the wake of rising tensions in the Middle East.
It follows the news that Iran launched missiles on two US-led bases in Iraq this week in response to the killing of Tehran’s senior military leader Qasem Soleimani.
Flight QF9 (Perth-London) and QF10 (London-Perth) are the only Qantas flights that are affected by the change.
Qantas has confirmed that the altered flight path increases the flying time by about 40-50 minutes on QF9. As a result, they will need to reduce the number of passengers on board in order to carry more fuel.
“We’re looking at temporarily routing QF9 through Asia until we’re able to return to our normal flight path through the Middle East,” Qantas said.
“This would mean a fuel stop in a city like Singapore or Hong Kong but it would enable us to still carry a full load of passengers on these heavily-booked flights, and minimise disruption that way”.
Spokesperson for Qantas
Despite the altered route, QF10 will operate with a full passenger load and the same flight time due to prevailing winds.
Qantas’s other flights to and from London (QF1/2) are unaffected as they operate through an alternative flight path.
Qantas said they would be reaching out to passengers directly if there were to be any changes to their booking.
Vietnam Airlines also confirmed this morning that it would be rerouting all flight routes between Vietnam and Europe to keep distance from areas that might be impacted by rising tensions in the Middle East.
The adjustments might prolong passengers’ flight time, however, the carrier will continue to enact these adjustments until tensions in the Middle East subside.
Vietnam Airlines recommends passengers travelling from/to Europe regularly check and update the latest information at Vietnam Airlines’ official Facebook page www.facebook.com/VietnamAirlines.
Further to this, the US Federal Aviation Authority has also barred US airlines from flying over Iraq and Iranian airspace in the Persian Gulf and the Gulf of Oman.
The FAA said it issued the ban “due to heightened military activities and increased political tensions in the Middle East, which present an inadvertent risk to US civil aviation operations”.
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