Airlines avoid Iran drone strike area

International airlines have started to alter course around Iranian airspace following the shooting down of a US military drone in the Gulf.

British Airways, Qantas, Lufthansa and KLM were among the carriers that said they were choosing to reroute flights, after the US Federal Aviation Administration issued a warning and blocked US-registered aircraft from flying over Iranian waters in the strait of Hormuz and the Gulf of Oman.

The FAA's emergency notice to airmen warned of a potential for miscalculation or misidentification in the area, a heavily used corridor for global flights, including from the US and Europe through the Middle East to India and Australia.

On Thursday, an Iranian surface-to-air missile shot down a US Global Hawk drone, an unmanned aircraft the size of a commercial passenger jet. The FAA said there were passenger planes in the air 45 miles away when the strike occurred.

The US carrier United Airlines has suspended flights between Newark airport near New York and Mumbai due to safety fears.

BA said it was adhering to the FAA guidance to avoid the area but flights continued to operate as normal, using alternative routes.

Qantas said it would reroute its Australia-London flights, while the German carrier Lufthansa and KLM of the Netherlands said they would avoid the strait although Lufthansa will continue flights to Tehran.

Source: VOV5