Qantas pilots flying between Dubai and London have been warned about the dangers of long-range missiles crossing under their flight paths.
The European Aviation Safety Agency issued an alert to all airlines flying over the Middle East yesterday, stating that Russian warships have been firing missiles into Syria that could cross under passenger planes.
“This safety information bulletin is issued to inform airspace users about the hazard,” the alert said.
Qantas A380s fly over Iran twice daily travelling from Dubai to London. They routinely fly tens of thousands of feet higher than the typical altitude for a missile.
Malaysian Airlines flight MH17 was flying over the Ukraine at 33,000 feet when it was shot down by a surface-to-air missile last year. It was travelling at 1000 feet higher than the minimum safe altitude recommended by Ukrainian authorities.
A Qantas spokesman would not comment about whether the airline would change its flight path in response to the alert, but confirmed it was closely monitoring all intelligence on potential safety risks.
Air France is reportedly altering its flight plans, while British Airways and Lufthansa said they would continue flying the same route.