By Patrick M Schmidt.
Sir Tim Clark, Chief Executive of Emirates Airlines, has announced that the airline would no longer allow its own aircraft to fly over Iraq.
This statement comes as a reaction to the missile strike on Malaysian Airlines MH-17 and concerns about ISIS militants in the north of Iraq being in possession of surface-to-air missile systems from arsenals captured in Syria.
Clark stated that, “The horrors that this created was a kick in the solar plexus for all of us. Nevertheless having got through it we must take stock and deal with it.”
Within the next ten days, Emirates will issue new flight plans for routes that pass over Iraq. It is expected that these new routes could add up to an hour to current flight times.
Meanwhile, Australian airline Qantas has said that based on its latest security assessments it has no plans to stop flying over Iraqi airspace on its Dubai-London flights.
(Sources: The Telegraph, Sydney Morning Herald)