Airlines including Deutsche Lufthansa AG and KLM said they will avoid flying over eastern Ukraine after the crash of a Malaysian Airlines jet, while Delta Air Lines Inc. is staying away from the whole country.
Lufthansa, which has its main hub in Frankfurt, is diverting flights, according to a spokesman, Thomas Janchow. KLM, whose booking codes were shared on Malaysian Air Flight 17, said “as a precautionary measure KLM avoids flying over the concerned territory,” according to the Dutch carrier.
“Although not yet officially confirmed by Malaysia Airlines, it is with great regret that KLM has learnt about the possible incident with flight MH17, codeshare KL4103,” the airline said. The carrier is a unit of Air France-KLM Group.
The Malaysian Airlines aircraft was a Boeing Co. 777 wide- body en route to Kuala Lumpur from Amsterdam and went down near the eastern town of Torez. The region wasn’t subject to any alerts to pilots, known as notices to airmen, said Perry Flint, a spokesman for the International Air Transport Association in Washington.
Delta is now avoiding Ukrainian airspace “out of an abundance of caution,” according to a statement on the company’s website. Atlanta-based Delta said it doesn’t fly over the part of Ukraine that was covered by a security advisory issued by the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration.
The European Cockpit Association, a pilot group, said by e- mail that the Malaysian plane’s path was “the most common route for flights from Europe to South East Asia.” British Airways said its flights don’t traverse eastern Ukraine, though the company is putting its daily London-Kiev route under review.
Josh Freed, a spokesman for American Airlines Group Inc., said the world’s largest carrier was checking on whether any of its planes fly in the area. United Continental Holdings Inc., the second-biggest airline, doesn’t fly through Ukrainian airspace.
Airlines have been paring service to Ukraine, with Lufthansa halting flights to Donetsk as tension escalated between the government and separatist rebels. Emirates, the biggest carrier by international traffic, said this month that it would suspend its flight linking Dubai and Kiev from Aug. 1, citing political uncertainty.
© Copyright 2016 Bloomberg News. All rights reserved.