Thursday 28 May 2015

European and Dubai airlines divert flights over Iraq after MH17 disaster

Published 30/07/2014 | 17:14

A stewardess from Malaysia Airlines lays a flower in remembrance of lost colleagues during a multi-faith event to pray for the passengers and crew of MH17 at the airline's academy in Kuala Lumpur July 25, 2014. REUTERS/Olivia Harris
A stewardess from Malaysia Airlines lays a flower in remembrance of lost colleagues during a multi-faith event to pray for the passengers and crew of MH17 at the airline's academy in Kuala Lumpur July 25, 2014. REUTERS/Olivia Harris

European and Dubai-based airlines are diverting flights over Iraqi airspace as a security precaution.

An Emirates Airline spokesperson in Dubai said it will divert planes that use Iraqi airspace. A number of European carriers, including Virgin Atlantic, KLM and Air France say they will do the same.

This follows the crash of a Malaysia Airlines flight over rebel-held Ukraine.

Iraq is facing a security crisis after militants with the extremist Islamic State group captured large swathes of northern and western Iraq, including its second-largest city, Mosul.

The head of the Iraqi Civil Aviation Authority, however, maintains Iraqi airspace is safe. Nassir Bandar says: "There is no threat to airplanes passing over the Iraqi skies."

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