Airlines cancel and divert flights passing over Iran after it shot down a US drone

  • Airlines around the world are canceling or rerouting flights to avoid parts of Iran's airspace after Iran shot down a US drone.
  • British Airways, United, KLM, and Lufthansa are among carriers to change their plans after Iran's military shot down a large military drone over the Strait of Hormuz.
  • Iran's geography means that it is often flown over by services from the US to India, and also flights between Australia and Europe.
  • The US Federal Aviation Administration banned US carriers from parts of that airspace. Some airlines have been even more cautious and made bigger changes to the routes. 


Airlines have canceled or diverted dozens of flights over Iran amid heightened tensions in the region after Iran shot down a US drone on Wednesday.

At least seven airlines have said that they making changes to their plans to pass through Iran-controlled airspace, citing security concerns.

It comes after the US Federal Aviation Administration on Thursday banned US commercial carriers from a small area of Iranian airspace. Many carriers are taking an even more cautious approach.

Here is the list of airlines, and what they have said.

United Airlines: New Jersey to Indian route suspended

US carrier United Airlines has suspended its flights to Mumbai, India, from Newark, New Jersey, after a "thorough safety and security review."

A spokesman told Reuters: "We continue to explore all our options and remain in close contact with relevant government authorities."

He said that customers looking to return to the US from Mumbai can be booked on an alternative flight.

British Airways: Rerouting flights in line with FAA guidance

In a statement to Business Insider, British Airways said it "will be adhering to the requirements" of the FAA's order, even though it doesn't apply to non-US airlines.

"Our safety and security team are constantly liaising with authorities around the world as part of their comprehensive risk assessment into every route we operate."

KLM: Rerouting flights to avoid Strait of Hormuz

KLM, the national carrier of the Netherlands, told Reuters on Friday that it is no longer flying over the Strait of Hormuz.

Malaysia Airlines: Avoiding Iranian airspace

Malaysia Airlines told Reuters that it is avoiding Iran's airspace.

Read more:Trump called Iran's drone attack 'a mistake,' but a top Iranian general called it 'a clear message' to the US

"The airline is closely monitoring the situation and is guided by various assessments, including security reports and notices to airmen," it said.

Qantas: No planes over Gulf of Oman, Persian Gulf

Australian carrier Qantas is re-routing its flights over the Gulf of Oman and the Persian Gulf, a spokesman told The Sydney Morning Herald.

He said that the flight paths would be adjusted "until further notice."

Lufthansa: Avoiding Strait of Hormuz

A spokesman for German airline Lufthansa said its flights have avoided the Strait of Hormuz since Thursday, though its flight are still going to Tehran, Iran's capital city.

Singapore Airlines: Unspecified longer routes

Singapore Airlines told Reuters that some of its flights said some flights may have to take longer routes to avoid the Gulf of Oman and the Persian Gulf.

Etihad Airways: No changes yet, but monitoring

United Arab Emirates airline Etihad Airways told Reuters that it is monitoring the situation in Iran and had developed contingency plans.

"We will decide what further action is required after carefully evaluating the FAA directive," it said. "We are working closely with the United Arab Emirates General Civil Aviation Authority."

Ethiad's global hub is in Abu Dhabi, close to Iran, meaning that rerouting all flights could be a difficult exercise.

Flights over IranFlightRadar24

Flight tracking website FlightRadar24 showed on Friday morning that Emirates, FlyDubai, Pakistan Airlines, and Qatar Airways were among the airlines still flying in the region, as well as Ethiad Airways.

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WASHINGTON, DC - MAY 08: U.S. President Donald Trump holds up a memorandum that re-instates sanctions on Iran after he announced his decision to withdraw the United States from the 2015 Iran nuclear deal in the Diplomatic Room at the White House May 8, 2018 in Washington, DC. After two and a half years of negotiations, Iran agreed in 2015 to end its nuclear program in exchange for Western countries, including the United States, lifting decades of economic sanctions. Since then international inspectors have not found any violations of the terms by Iran. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
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