Qantas Reroutes London Flights Amid Middle East Tensions

By Ivan PetrenkoApr 17, 2024 01:30 AMNews
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Qantas airplane on the runway with other aircraft in the background
Qantas airplane on the runway with other aircraft in the background. Source: unsplash

In response to heightened tensions in the Middle East, Qantas Airways has temporarily suspended its direct flights from Perth to London. Previously, these flights passed directly over Iranian airspace, but the airline has now rerouted these services through Singapore to ensure passenger safety.

The usual direct route, serviced by Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner aircraft, which significantly reduced the travel time between Australia and the UK, has been altered due to escalating threats. The rerouted flights will now include a refueling stop in Singapore, extending the typically 17.5-hour journey.

While eastbound flights from London to Perth will continue without additional stops, they too will avoid Iranian airspace. This adjustment leverages favorable jetstreams, which aid in reducing both flight times and fuel consumption, despite the geographical detour.

The decision coincides with international diplomatic efforts involving Australia. Foreign Minister Penny Wong has engaged in discussions with her Iranian counterpart, emphasizing the need for stability over escalation. Concurrently, travel advisories for Australian nationals have been updated, reflecting increased risks of military and terrorist attacks in the region.

The change has broader implications amidst global diplomatic tensions, with the U.S. also actively working to prevent potential conflicts. President Biden and Secretary of State Antony Blinken have expressed their concerns, particularly about the safety of Israeli territories, reaffirming the U.S.'s defense commitments in the process.

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