Iran re-routes flights over east Ukraine airspace

Photo: Iran re-routes flights over east Ukraine airspace / Iran

Iran re-routed its flights around eastern Ukraine airspace after a Malaysia Airlines jetliner with 298 people on board crashed near the city of Donetsk, IRNA reported.

"In the wake of Malaysia's Boeing 777 passenger plane crash on Thursday at Ukraine-Russia border and the ensuing speculation about the cause of the crash and the inappropriate conditions of Ukraine's airlines, Iran's Civil Aviation Organization (CAO) has warned domestic airliners planning to cross over east of this country," said deputy head of CAO for flight standards Hamid Habibi, wrote the English-language paper ˈIran Dailyˈ in its Upside/Downside column on Sunday.

He added that Iran has responded positively to a request by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) for letting international flights enter Iran's airspace while bypassing Ukraine.

Leading airliners, including Air France, British Airways, Lufthansa, Turkish Airlines and Russian airline Transaero said they would avoid airspace over eastern Ukraine following the incident.

In statements on Thursday, the ICAO and the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) noted that the jetliner had crashed outside the areas covered in their advisories.

The Malaysia Airlines jet crashed on Thursday in eastern Ukraine on a flight from the Dutch city of Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur. The crash site has been the center of fighting between pro-Russia fighters and Ukrainian military forces.

Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko said the Boeing 777 may have been shot down.

But on Friday, Russian President Vladimir Putin said the government of the territory in which the tragedy happened bears responsibility for it. The Russian leader said the incident would not have occurred if Kiev had not resumed its military operation against the pro-Russia forces in the country's east.

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