After drone downing, airlines told to avoid Iran

Credit: Reuters Studio
Published on June 21, 2019 - Duration: 01:37s

After drone downing, airlines told to avoid Iran

The FAA has told U.S. airlines to avoid Iran after the shooting down of a drone, and many international airlines are choosing to follow suit voluntarily.

Julian Satterthwaite reports.

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After drone downing, airlines told to avoid Iran

U.S. airlines have been told to avoid Iran.

Some European and Asian ones are choosing to do the same without being told.

The move comes after Iran shot down a U.S. navy drone.

Washington and Tehran can't agree where that incident took place.

The U.S. says the drone was downed in international airspace over the Gulf.

Iran says the drone violated its airspace.

On Friday (June 21) it said it refrained from shooting down an accompanying U.S. patrol plane at the same time.

It says a P-8 - an adapted 737 airliner - also violated its airspace.

Whatever the truth, it's alarming for airlines.

Late Thursday (June 20) the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration banned American carriers from the area.

KLM, Lufthansa, Qantas and British Airways among others to follow suit voluntarily.

On Friday morning online flight trackers showed planes skirting the forbidden zone.

Among them, aircraft from Malaysian Airlines.

It is still scarred by the shooting down of one of its planes over Ukraine in 2014.

That's not the only historic precedent for caution.

In 1988 a U.S. warship shot down an Iranian airliner over the Gulf, in what Washington said was an accident.

Now avoiding the region means cancelling or rerouting hundreds of flights a day.

United Airlines said it suspended flights from Newark to Mumbai even before the FAA order.

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