Tourism

Aussie flights affected by Iran missile attacks, cruise lines on high alert

Ali Coulton

Ali Coulton

Iranian missile attacks on US airbases in Iraq may cause longer flight times for Aussies travelling to Europe, as well as amended cruise itineraries.

Qantas has confirmed it is among the airlines choosing to divert its flight paths over the middle east to avoid airspace over Iraq and Iran.

A spokesperson for the national carrier told Travel Weekly it is looking at temporarily rerouting its non-stop Perth to London flight (QF9 and QF10), altering the flying time by about 40 to 50 minutes. The airline may also need to reduce the numbers of passengers on board in order to carry more fuel.

“This would mean a fuel stop in a city like Singapore or Hong Kong but it would enable us to still carry a full load of passengers on these heavily-booked flights, and minimise disruption that way,” the spokesperson said.

“We’ll reach out to passengers directly if there’s any change to their booking.”

Spokespersons from Singapore Airlines and Finnair have also confirmed to Travel Weekly that they will be rerouting flights to avoid Iranian or Iraqui airspace.

Tehran launched “tens” of surface-to-air missiles at the US-owned Al-Assad and Erbil bases, in response to the US’ assassination of top Iranian general, Qassem Soleimani.

As a result of rising tensions between the two countries, the US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) announced in a statement it was prohibiting US pilots and carriers from flying in Iraqui, Iranian and some Persian Gulf airspaces.

Following the lead of the FAA, many more carriers have decided to alter their flight paths to avoid the areas, according to ABC News, including Malaysia Airlines, China Airlines, Emirates and Air Canada.

The cruise industry has also been impacted, with several lines operating in the area signalling they are watching the situation closely.

MSC Cruises told Travel Weekly it has heightened its vigilance for the Gulf region and will monitor the situation closely.

“We are consulting with official travel advisory bodies and are in constant contact with local and international authorities,” a spokesperson for the cruise line said.

“So far, we have not received any intelligence suggesting that there is reason for our itineraries to be altered, or shore excursions to be cancelled. Our cruise ships will sail as planned and per schedule.”

Likewise, a spokesperson for Royal Caribbean has told Travel Weekly the line is “working closely with authorities to ensure the safety and comfort of our guests and crew”.

“We are communicating directly with our guests and will advise them if any schedule changes become necessary,” the spokesperson said.

Scenic said that while it will continue to watch the situation closely with its team in Egypt, the current Australian government travel advice for the Middle East has not changed following the events of the past few days.

The current safety advice on Smartraveller for Iran is to “reconsider your need to travel”, as security remains “volatile” and could “deteriorate with little notice”.

The advice for Iraq remains “Do not travel”.

SEE WHAT PEOPLE ARE SAYING

Leave a Reply

Wholesalers

Wholesaler Wrap: Collette celebrates 5th anniversary in Australia, Globus previews 2021 European tours + MORE!

Out of sorts when it comes to the who’s who of the wholesaler scene? This week’s Wholesaler Wrap comes in the nick of time. 

Share

CommentComments

Aviation

Boeing confirms debris found in 737 MAX engines, as Qantas eyes cut-price deal

by Christian Fleetwood

Alan Joyce says Qantas’ “unmatched” safety reputation positions it to negotiate a discounted deal with Boeing for a new fleet of 737 MAXs when the jet is re-certified.

Share

CommentComments

Travel Agents

AFTA considers partial ATAS review following collapse of online travel agency

by Huntley Mitchell

The liquidation of an OTA and ATAS member has caught AFTA by surprise. Travel Weekly apologises for the excessive acronym usage.

Share

CommentComments

Tourism

Police shoot man dead in Brisbane after tourist stabbing

by Christian Fleetwood

Police officers were called to a disturbance on Sunday following reports a man armed with a knife had stabbed an overseas tourist.

Share

CommentComments

Travel Agents

Helloworld posts profit and record TTV, but expects “minimal growth, if any” for rest of FY20

by Huntley Mitchell

Can you hear the popping of champagne corks coming from Helloworld HQ? Well, it’s either the company celebrating its half-yearly results or a staff member trying out their new pop gun.

Share

CommentComments

Cruise

More Diamond Princess evacuees catch coronavirus

Meanwhile, experts fear quarantines could be compromised by a longer incubation period.

Share

CommentComments

Aviation

Flight attendant says keto diet got him fired

The flight attendant claims he was fired for testing negative in a breath test, but says it was caused by the keto diet – not alcohol.

Share

CommentComments

Tourism

Ardent Leisure suffers another loss, warns of further impact from Dreamworld tragedy

by Huntley Mitchell

The company has warned investors it is unlikely that Dreamworld will break even in the second half of FY20.

Share

CommentComments

Destinations

Destination Wrap: Abu Dhabi’s record-breaking visitor numbers, Tourism Fiji rolls out new stage of Bulanaires + MORE!

Meanwhile, the only destination Travel Weekly staff will be exploring today is the streets of Surry Hills in search of a cheaper coffee than the place downstairs.

Share

CommentComments

Cruise

Hurtigruten makes history in Antarctica

Meanwhile, Travel Weekly’s editor has entered the office record books for shortest distance thrown in the staff paper plane throwing competition.

Share

CommentComments

Wholesalers

Aussie wholesaler expands to New Zealand

Staff at an Aussie wholesaler are beginning to work phrases like “choice bro”, “sweet as” and “chur” into their vocabulary upon receipt of this news.

Share

CommentComments

Cruise

Coronavirus: Diamond Princess passengers die, as two evacuated Aussies test positive

The coronavirus outbreak continues to wreak havoc on the travel industry, prompting the federal government to extend its travel ban for another week.

Share

CommentComments