The US Fines Emirates $1.8 Million For Flying Below 32,000 Feet Over Iraq

By Ivan PetrenkoJun 15, 2024 15:30 PMNews
Share:
white emirates plane
white emirates plane. Source: unsplash

Middle East carrier Emirates has been fined $1.8 million by US authorities for violating airspace regulations over Iraq. The violations occurred during a period when Emirates had an active codeshare partnership with JetBlue. The issue pertains to flights between Dubai and the US from December 2021 to August 2022.

Emirates Fined $1.8 Million

The US Department of Transportation (DOT) fined Emirates for not adhering to the FAA's requirement that prohibits US airlines and their codeshare partners from flying below 32,000 feet over Iraqi airspace. This regulation is in place for safety reasons due to the volatile nature of the region.

The violations involved numerous flights over Iraq during the specified period, with Emirates operating under a codeshare agreement with JetBlue. Despite Emirates not being a US carrier, the fine applies because the partnership allowed JetBlue to sell seats on Emirates flights.

Background and FAA Regulations

The FAA mandates that airlines avoid flying below 32,000 feet over Iraq to mitigate potential risks associated with the region’s airspace. Emirates, found in breach of this rule, reportedly planned their flights to stay above this altitude but were instructed to descend by air traffic control (ATC) on several occasions.

Emirates' Response

Emirates acknowledged the settlement with the DOT and reiterated its commitment to passenger and employee safety. The airline highlighted that their pilots followed ATC instructions, which sometimes required flying below 32,000 feet for safety reasons.

An Emirates spokesperson commented:

"Emirates has reached a settlement with the US Department of Transport (DOT), relating to the alleged breach of Special Federal Aviation Regulations (SFAR) that restricted airlines carrying a US air-carrier code from operating below FL320 while over Iraqi airspace. These incidents involved 122 flights operated by Emirates, while carrying a JetBlue marketing code, between December 2021 and August 2022.

Our pilots duly followed ATC instructions, a decision which is fully aligned with international aviation regulations for safety reasons. Emirates’ priority is always the safety of our passengers and employees.

Emirates wishes to state that we had planned to operate these 122 flights in question at or above FL320. However, while these flights were operating, Air Traffic Control (ATC) did not give clearance to ascend to FL320, or had categorically instructed these flights to operate below FL320."

JetBlue to United Partnership

Emirates' codeshare partnership with JetBlue began in 2012, providing mutual benefits such as shared perks and reward redemptions. However, in 2022, Emirates ended this partnership and soon after, announced a new collaboration with United Airlines.

The Emirates-United partnership, launched in 2023, aims to offer passengers an expanded network of destinations across the US. Emirates customers can now make seamless connections through major US hubs like Chicago, Houston, and San Francisco.

Airspace Restrictions and Geopolitical Tensions

The fine against Emirates underscores the ongoing complexities of airspace regulations in geopolitically sensitive regions. With heightened global tensions, such restrictions are expected to persist. Airlines frequently have to adjust their routes to avoid restricted airspace, as seen with recent reroutings over Jordan, Israel, Lebanon, and Iraq, and the avoidance of Russian airspace due to the conflict in Ukraine.

Emirates, already under scrutiny, will likely ensure strict compliance with airspace regulations moving forward to avoid further penalties.

In Conclusion

The $1.8 million fine imposed on Emirates for violating airspace rules over Iraq highlights the importance of adhering to FAA regulations, even for non-US carriers operating under codeshare agreements. As geopolitical tensions continue to influence airspace restrictions, airlines must remain vigilant to ensure passenger safety and regulatory compliance.

Top Articles
Top 15 best hotels for beach weddings around the world, from beautiful secluded hideaways to famous island resorts

Top 15 best hotels for beach weddings around the world, from beautiful secluded hideaways to famous island resorts

Jul 22, 2024 19:15 PM
The best resorts in Colorado for 2024: from luxury mountain getaways with direct access to the slopes to gorgeous resort spas with hot springs

The best resorts in Colorado for 2024: from luxury mountain getaways with direct access to the slopes to gorgeous resort spas with hot springs

Jul 22, 2024 13:07 PM

Top 5 best Vienna hotels travelers recommend: with superb restaurants, exclusive spas and attractions at your doorstep

Jul 22, 2024 08:05 AM

Top 40 hotels in Paris: from luxury spa hotels and trendy designer boutiques to historic townhouses and legendary urban hideaways

Jul 21, 2024 19:04 PM
More News
Two Canadian flags hanging between trees

Canada's Reinstatement of Visas for Mexican Nationals Strains US Relations

Jul 23, 2024 02:30 AM
Four boys laugh on the grass, one plays the guitar

Free Summer Activities for Kids and Teens in Amsterdam and Weesp

Jul 23, 2024 01:30 AM

Travel Risks in Bangladesh: Recommendations from the U.S. Department of State and U.S. Embassy in Dhaka

Jul 23, 2024 00:05 AM

Planning Your Perfect Trip to Jutland, Denmark's Scenic Lake District

Jul 22, 2024 23:30 PM
Traveler walking along a desert road in Egypt

Travel Alert: Reconsider Egypt Travel Amid Heightened Risks

Jul 22, 2024 22:30 PM
oyster dish

15 Seafood Specialties Worth Traveling For

Jul 22, 2024 21:30 PM
Colca Canyon, Chivay, Peru

Peru's First Tented Camp Opens in Colca Canyon: A Unique Adventure Awaits

Jul 22, 2024 20:30 PM
John Wayne Airport, California, USA

Why Takeoffs from California's John Wayne Airport Keep Passengers on Edge

Jul 22, 2024 19:30 PM
Scenic view of boats docked by coastal houses in Majorca

Protests in Spain Over the Influx of Tourists

Jul 22, 2024 18:30 PM

Stabbing Incident at Miami Airport Leaves Woman in Critical Condition

Jul 22, 2024 17:40 PM

Free Parking and Bus Travel in Stratford-upon-Avon: A Boon for Travelers

Jul 22, 2024 14:30 PM
A steam train on tracks in Swanage

New "Sunset Shuttle" Service Launches in Swanage

Jul 22, 2024 12:30 PM
Boats on a calm sea with mountainous background in Marmaris, Turkey

Tragedy Strikes Off the Coast of Marmaris: Yacht "Eagles" Catches Fire

Jul 22, 2024 10:30 AM
Ryanair aircraft parked on the tarmac with visible engine

Emergency Landing Diverts Ryanair Flight to Dublin

Jul 22, 2024 08:30 AM
Blue bus passing by lush green and yellow trees in an urban park setting

New Weekend Bus Service Opens Gateway to Peterborough's Ferry Meadows for Travelers

Jul 22, 2024 06:30 AM

Vermont Unveils Longest Rail Trail in New England, Now Open for Adventure

Jul 22, 2024 04:30 AM

Paris Mayor Swims in Seine to Prove Water Cleanliness for Olympics

Jul 22, 2024 02:30 AM
A tourist with a backpack sits in front of a famous rock

Essential Advice for British Nationals Visiting Thailand

Jul 22, 2024 00:05 AM
Passengers waiting at the airport after flight cancellations

Airlines Struggle to Recover from Major IT Outage

Jul 21, 2024 22:30 PM
Close-up of a white llama's head

Emotional Support Llamas Delight Travelers at Portland Airport

Jul 21, 2024 20:30 PM
Night scene at a busy tram stop in Manchester with people crossing the street and a bus on the left

24-Hour Transport Service Enhances Night Travel in Greater Manchester

Jul 21, 2024 18:30 PM
A vintage steam train traveling through scenic countryside

Summer Memory Train 2024 Brings Joy and Connection to Travelers

Jul 21, 2024 16:30 PM

Experience History with the Return of the 1938 Art Deco Tube Train

Jul 21, 2024 14:30 PM

The Aerial is an all-inclusive luxury resort in the British Virgin Islands, from its unique approach to wellness to its charitable missions

Jul 21, 2024 13:11 PM
An orange lifebuoy hanging on a metal structure by the water

SS United States Conservancy Seeks Extension for Ocean Liner Relocation, Offering More Summer Tours

Jul 21, 2024 12:30 PM
Yesnaby Castle sea stack on Orkney cliffs

2025 Island Games: A Grand Sporting Event in Orkney

Jul 21, 2024 10:30 AM