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

Aviation

At least 18 dead in Indian plane crash

The Boeing 737 overshot the runway and skidded into a valley, breaking in two while trying to land in torrential rain.

Share

CommentComments

Hotels

Accor sinks to $2.5 billion loss in first six months of 2020

by Huntley Mitchell

As was to be expected, the first six months of the year have not been kind to Accor.

Share

CommentComments

Destinations

Destination Wrap: Join Thailand’s bite-sized webinars, WA’s $150m tourism injection + MORE

After a weekend of playing uncle at birthday parties, Travel Weekly’s reporter is bringing the sprinkles and chocolate icing vibes to this week’s fun-filled Destination Wrap (minus the sticky fingers).

Share

CommentComments

Travel Agents

ABS stats only hint at employment carnage experienced by agencies, says AFTA chief

AFTA’s top gun says concerning stats released by the ABS don’t even scratch the surface when it comes to the struggles of the industry.

Share

CommentComments

Cruise

Small is the new big, says cruise company MD

This cruise company boss reckons post-COVID travellers will be more attracted to what a cruise doesn’t have than what it does.

Share

CommentComments

Wholesalers

First Intrepid tour departs since suspension of travel

Looks like wholesalers are slowly coming out of hibernation, with Intrepid sending off its first group of travellers in four months.

Share

CommentComments

Destinations

“They are not alone”: Victoria announces $60m mental health support package

This story goes out to all our Victorian readers. We’re all thinking of you here at Travel Weekly. Hang in there!

Share

CommentComments

Aviation

Caps on Australia’s international arrivals to remain until late October

by Christian Fleetwood

The federal government isn’t about to make it any easier for Aussies stranded overseas to get back home.

Share

CommentComments

Tourism

FINALLY! Village Roadshow agrees to takeover deal with failed Virgin bidder

by Huntley Mitchell

It’s not quite on the same scale as Virgin, but BGH Capital has still managed to snag a distressed travel company.

Share

CommentComments

Hotels

Why a bad hotel experience has Ovolo’s CEO steering clear of mobile keys (for now)

by Huntley Mitchell

Travel Weekly recently managed to slide its way into the DMs of Ovolo Hotels’ bossman. And, much to our delight, he replied!

Share

CommentComments

Travel Agents

This travel agency diversified well before the pandemic, and now it’s looking to franchise

by Ali Coulton

A travel agency with a twist has taken the COVID-19 slowdown as an opportunity to breathe new life into its business.

Share

CommentComments

Tourism

Federal government relaxes JobKeeper eligibility requirements

Victorian businesses are breathing a sigh of relief after the government made some much-needed changes to the JobKeeper scheme.

Share

CommentComments