The European Organization for the Safety of Air Navigation (Eurocontrol) has sent a warning to airlines operating flights in the Eastern Mediterranean and Middle East about an air attack in Syria in the next 72 hours, the global media reports.
Eurocontrol warns that ground-to-air and cruise missiles likely to be launched in the area could disrupt the navigational systems in the airplanes of airlines operating flights in Middle Eastern countries, with an emphasis on flights passing over Nicosia in Cyprus.
The warning follows statements by US President Donald Trump concerning the possibility of military action in Syria, after the gas attack there last week. Trump canceled his planned trip to South America, and warned this week that the response would be rapid and powerful.
Eurocontrol's warning suggests taking into account the possibility of an air attack in Syria in the planning of flights in countries in the region. According to the FlightRadar24 website, the only commercial flights that currently fly over Syria are by Syrian Air and Lebanese airline Middle East Airlines.
Various news websites have published responses by representatives of airlines in Europe to the warnings, including Lufthansa, for example, whose spokesperson said was aware of these warnings. The company emphasized that airlines in this group had been avoiding Syrian airspace in their flights for a long time,
easyJet announced that it had conducted a safety and security assessment, and would adopt precautionary measures, including for its routes from Tel Aviv. Ryanair and British Airways also announced that they were evaluating the significance of the warnings.
easyJet said, “easyJet conducted a safety and security assessment of its activity in the region, and as a result will take a number of precautionary measures, including routing of its flights from Tel Aviv. Safety of the passengers and the flight crew are at the top of easyJets's priorities.”
The Israel Civil Aviation Authority has received no special instructions in the matter, and there is therefore no change in its instructions to the airlines. El Al is also familiar with the matter, but is not commenting on any matter involving security. The warnings have no derivatives relating to activity at Ben Gurion Airport, and the Civil Aviation Authority is emphasizing that no special instructions in the matter have been received.
Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - www.globes-online.com - on April 11, 2018
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