13 JANUARY 2020
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UK airline schedules were returning cautiously to near-normal over the weekend as tensions over the latest Iran-US flare-up eased following Iran admitting responsibility for accidentally shooting down a Ukrainian Airlines Boeing B737.
Carriers had been advised by the UK Department for Transport on Friday not to enter Iran or Iraq territory and airspace after the new confrontation. The US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) followed by banning US pilots and airlines from the area.
Following the lead of the FAA, America's ABC News among others reported many more carriers had decided to alter their flight paths, including Malaysia Airlines, China Airlines, Emirates and Air Canada.
The cruise industry has also been impacted, with several companies operating in the area signalling they were watching the situation closely, although there was no immediate news of specific itineraries bring re-routed.
Major European carriers including Air France and British Airways were initially reported to be choosing to avoid the area, with at least two BA flights to Dubai diverted to Istanbul.
As things began to return to normal, travel correspondent Simon Calder of The Independent newspaper said: “My personal view is that I would confidently book on a flight overflying the region – if the captain is prepared to fly, I am happy to accept his or her judgement.”
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