KLM to resume flights via Iran, Iraq routes
Dutch flag carrier, the KLM, announced that it will resume its flights through the Iranian and Iraqi airspace following an interim halt that was caused by soaring military tensions in the Middle East region.
The company had reached the security assessment that its planes can resume flying over Iran and Iraq, a KLM statement issued and published on Thursday said.
“The KLM uses a security management system to analyze risks and thus determine safe flight paths,” said the statement, adding, “Substantiated by such analyses, it is once again safe to fly over Iran and Iraq.”
The statement come as several major airlines around the world stopped using the Iranian airspace after a Boeing 737-800 operated by Ukraine International Airlines was shot down in Iran on January 8, killing all 176 people on board.
The accidental downing of the plane by the Iranian air defenses came hours after Iran responded to the American assassination on January 3 of one of its top generals (Lieutenant General Qassem Soleimani) by firing ballistic missiles at the US bases in the neighboring Iraq.
The KLM statement said the company had restored flight routes through Iran after obtaining adequate information from intelligence, military and political sources in the Netherlands.
It said that the European Union, along with Britain and Germany, has issued fresh notifications known as NOTAM ensuring the commercial airlines that they could again use the airspace above Iran and Iraq.
However, other major European airlines, including the Air France-KLM, of which the KLM is a subsidiary, have yet to officially announce resumption of flights through the Iranian airspace.
Carriers such as Qatar Airways never stopped flying over Iran after the incident, insisting the airspace is totally safe. Iranian authorities have also ensured that there would be no risk for civilian flights passing through the country.