EU airlines urged to avoid Yemen airspace as Saudi-led air strikes continue

PARIS (Reuters) - European regulators urged airlines on Tuesday to avoid Yemen's airspace as air strikes in the south-western tip of the Arabian Peninsula continue.

The European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) said it was highlighting the risk after French regulators urged their own airlines not to penetrate Yemen's airspace.

EASA, which regulates aviation across the European Union, did not directly ban airlines from overflying Yemen but urged each of the EU's 28 nations to take note of the French decision.

The flag carrier of non-EU member Turkey, Turkish Airlines, said earlier that it had cancelled flights from Istanbul to Yemen until April 5.

Air raids again hit Houthi militia targets across Yemen on Monday night, striking the group's northern stronghold of Saadeh, the capital Sanaa and the central town of Yarim, residents and media said.

The strikes by a Saudi-led coalition, which began last Thursday, are designed to check efforts by the Iranian-backed rebels to overthrow President Abedrabbo Mansour Hadi.

The US Federal Aviation Administration last week banned all overflights of Yemen by US airlines.

Taking its cue again from France, EASA also urged pilots of European-operated jets to maintain an altitude of 24,000 feet when crossing Sudan or South Sudan, where fighting has continued in a 15-month-old civil conflict despite a February truce.