Israel-Iran tensions: Air India, Lufthansa, other airlines scrap flights, reroute planes as wider Middle East war looms

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Several leading airlines have cancelled flights to Iran and restricted its use of Israeli and Iranian airspace amid rapidly escalating tensions. Air India and Qantas planes have now begun avoiding Iranian airspace while Lufthansa extended a suspension on flights to and from Tehran.

Flight tracking data indicates that a London-bound Air India flight took a significantly longer route on Saturday in order to avoid Iranian airspace. According to an NDTV report quoting sources, the carrier may now take take up to 45 minutes longer to arrive at destinations in Europe. However the rising tensions will not affect flights to the Middle East as they are south of Iranian airspace. Air India had restarted flights to Tel Aviv in early March after a nearly five month hiatus amid the Gaza war.

Meanwhile German airline Lufthansa extended its ongoing suspension on flights to and from Tehran — in place since April 6. The carrier and its subsidiary Austrian Airlines have said that their planes will no longer use Iranian airspace. The latter cited “the current situation in the Middle East” in an official statement. 

“Due to the current situation, Lufthansa is suspending its flights to and from Tehran up to and including Thursday, 18 April. The airline is also no longer using Iranian airspace,” a Lufthansa spokesperson said on Friday.

Qantas Airways has also temporarily re-routed its services in order to avoid airspace in the Middle East. The QF9 flight from Perth to London will now fly via Singapore for a fuel stop for the next few days as the company monitors the situation. A Qantas spokesperson confirmed that the QF10 return flight (as well as other paths out of London) remain unaffected.

(With inputs from agencies)

 

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Published: 13 Apr 2024, 06:02 PM IST

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