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Australia's Qantas to continue flying over Iraq

Published on Jul 29, 2014 11:41 AM
 
This picture taken on Dec 10, 2013 shows a Qantas flight landing at the Adelaide airport in Adelaide. Australian airline Qantas said on Tuesday it would continue flying over Iraqi airspace, despite alliance partner Emirates deciding to alter its routes over concerns about jihadist missile attacks following the MH17 crash. -- PHOTO: AFP

SYDNEY (AFP) - Australian airline Qantas said on Tuesday it would continue flying over Iraqi airspace, despite alliance partner Emirates deciding to alter its routes over concerns about jihadist missile attacks following the MH17 crash.

Qantas said that while it no longer flew over Syria or Ukraine over fears their airspace could be "unsafe", "there is no information to suggest that there is risk to commercial aircraft passing over Iraq, particularly at the altitudes we fly".

"Qantas is one of many airlines that currently flies over parts of Iraq en route to Europe," the airline's chief pilot Dick Tobiano said in a statement.

The carrier said its average altitude over the Middle East region was about 38,000 to 41,000 feet, far exceeding the US Federal Aviation Administration's recommendation of above 20,000 feet.

 
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