British Airways has re-routed its flights away from the Straight of Hormuz and will avoid flying in Iranian airspace after the U.S.’ Federal Aviation Authority (FAA) banned all American carriers from the route.
“Our safety and security team are constantly liaising with authorities around the world as part of their comprehensive risk assessment into every route we operate” a statement from British Airways said in a statement.
Other major airlines such as Lufthansa, KLM and Qantas have also followed the FAA ban and confirmed that their airlines will avoid Iranian airspace after a U.S. military drone was shot down.
“The Federal Aviation Administration has issued a Notice to Airmen (NOTAM) prohibiting U.S.-registered aircraft from operation over the Persian Gulf and Gulf of Oman,” the FAA said in a statement.
“The NOTAM [aviation notice] warns pilots that flights are not permitted in the overwater area of the Tehran Flight Information Region until further notice, due to heightened military activities and increased political tensions that might place commercial flights at risk. The NOTAM applies to all U.S. air carriers and commercial operators,” the statement added.
This latest decision follows rising tensions between the U.S. and Iran in the Persian Gulf in which Iran has been accused of attacking oil tankers leaving the world’s busiest waterway as well as shooting down a U.S. military drone on Thursday.
On June 13th two oil tankers were attacked in the Gulf of Oman, an attack the U.S. says was carried out by Iran. Iran has repeatedly denied these accusations and says that the supposed video evidence given by U.S. intelligence is false.
Senior politicians such as the German foreign minister Heiko Maas and the leader of the U.K.’s main opposition party Jeremy Corbyn have questioned the credibility of the footage released by the U.S. Central Command and arguing that the video does not provide enough evidence.