British Airways has decided it is no longer safe to fly over Iraq.
The move comes just days after Willie Walsh, the chief executive of BA parent company IAG, said flying over the country is “safe” (see news, August 4).
BA’s change of policy came after the US on Friday began airstrikes on Islamic militants operating in Iraq. The US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has restricted American carriers from flying over the war-torn country.
BA is now “temporarily” avoiding Iraqi airspace and will “keep the situation under review”. The move mainly affects the airline’s services to Dubai and Doha.
European airlines including Air France, Virgin Atlantic, Emirates and Lufthansa had already decided to stop flying over Iraqi airspace.