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‘Avoid flying through Syria, Iraq war zones’ Kuwait cautions airlines

KUWAIT CITY, Aug 11: Directorate General for Civil Aviation (DGCA) has cautioned airlines whose flights operate from Kuwait to their destinations against endangering lives of passengers by passing through Syria and other war zones in the Middle and North Iraq, reports Al-Rai daily.

An official source at DGCA informed that some airlines have been ignoring recommendations from the agency, which expose lives of Kuwaiti and non- Kuwaiti passengers to danger. He pointed out that the warning was necessary to avert avoidable disasters like the one that occurred to Malaysian Airlines, which was shot down in Ukraine. He reminded that the war in Syria is more severe than the situation in Ukraine, so concerned authorities in Kuwait and other countries in the region have the obligation to sound this note of warning.

He declared that a Middle East Airlines pilot once snapped picture of Scud missile on the Syrian sky over a year ago and warned against flying in the sky. He stated the information caused uproar in Lebanon at that time and people questioned safety criteria for people who travel over skies of countries that engage in serious wars. He said the airlines later suspended the pilot and stuck to the same route thereafter.

Meanwhile, Al-Watan Arabic daily reported that Kuwait Airways Corporation has circulated information that none of its flights should pass through Iraqi sky due to a recent announcement made by the US that it will start targeting all DAESH positions.

The company has instructed all its pilots to use alternative routes for their flights after coordination with the Directorate General for Civil Aviation to ensure safety of passengers and airplanes. The new directive will remain so until further notice, so flights to Africa and Europe will take longer time until the situation changes.

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