Qantas continues flying over Iraq, unlike Emirates

Qantas has decided it's safe to fly over Iraq. Photo / file
Qantas has decided it's safe to fly over Iraq. Photo / file

Qantas has reassured passengers it's still safe to fly over Iraq, despite network partner Emirates' deciding to steer clear of the conflict-torn nation.

Qantas says it has no plans to re-route. "We regularly review our flight paths and make any adjustments we consider prudent," the company said in a statement.

"There is no suggestion that flying over Iraq is unsafe for commercial airlines, particularly given the cruising altitude that most, including Qantas, maintain.

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"We will continue to monitor the situation, with safety as our top priority."

Dubai-based Emirates has announced it will stop flying over Iraq amid fears of missile threats to passenger planes from terrorists.

Emirates' chief executive Tim Clark told London's The Times that the MH17 tragedy had "changed everything".

"We cannot continue to say 'Well, it's a political thing'. We have to do something," Sir Tim said.

"We have to take the bull by the horns."

Qantas says its average flight level over this space is around 38,000 feet to 41,000 feet.

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The Australian airline will be represented by the airline peak body IATA at Tuesday's International Civil Aviation Organisation talks in Montreal, and says it will "review any broader recommendations for mitigating risks associated with areas of conflict".

- AAP

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