WASHINGTON | MONTREAL: Major airlines cancelled Iran and Iraq flights on Wednesday and rerouted others away from both countries’ airspace, following an Iranian missile strike on US-led forces in Iraq.

Germany’s Lufthansa, Dubai-based Emirates and low-cost flydubai were among airlines that cancelled flights, as the US Federal Aviation Administration barred American carriers from the area. But several other carriers continued operations over the affected airspace.

Within hours of the strike, the FAA barred US carriers from airspace over Iran, the Gulf of Oman and the waters between Iran and Saudi Arabia, citing “heightened military activities and increased political tensions in the Middle East, which present an inadvertent risk to US civil aviation operations”.

Australia’s Qantas Airways said on Wednesday it would add 50 minutes to its Perth-London flight time and cut passenger numbers to carry more fuel as it reroutes around Iran and Iraq. Air France-KLM, which halted flights to Tehran in 2018, said it was also suspending Air France flights through Iranian and Iraqi airspace “as a precautionary measure”.

British Airways said a small number of its flights would be affected by rerouting, without elaborating. Virgin Atlantic, Singapore Airlines, Malaysia Airlines, Air Canada and Taiwan’s China Airlines were also among carriers that rerouted flights.

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