Wednesday 21 March 2018

Travel warning issued over Syria

Sarah McCabe

Sarah McCabe

TRAVELLERS to the Middle East take note. Global airlines are drawing up emergency plans to re-route planes and absorb higher fuel costs in the event of a military attack on Syria.

John Strickland, a London-based aviation analyst, said passengers should expect disruptions to travel plans if conflict worsens in the region.

"We shouldn't magnify it out of proportion, but what we have seen from other wars or military actions in the Gulf is flight routings may need to change,'' he said.

"That can disrupt schedules, of course, because if you're having to follow more secure routings, you're not able to run to your normal schedule and that directly feeds through to airlines having to burn more fuel.'' Major carriers that fly to or near Syria include British Airways, Emirates and Etihad. BA said it would be affected if the country's airspace and surrounding areas became a no-fly zone. "We are keeping our operations under review," a spokes- man for BA said.

The Department of Foreign Affairs has also updated its advice for travellers to Israel. It is now advising that Irish citizens "exercise extreme caution" in Israel and within 40km of Gaza. It advises against all travel to Gaza and immediately adjacent areas.

Irish Independent

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