This Map Shows How Most Airlines Are Now Avoiding Iraqi Airspace

Iraq Air Space 11AM ET 8/8/14Flightradar24Iraqi airspace 11:02 AM ET, 8/8/14

In light of the escalating conflict in Iraq and the U.S.’s airstrikes against ISIS targets in the country, theFAA has ordered U.S.-based air carriers to avoidthe country’s airspace altogether.

Though not as congested as the skies over Ukraine, Iraqi airspace is important for many of the Gulf region and the greater Middle East’s major carriers.

The U.S.’s bombing of ISIS targets outside of the Kurdish capital of Erbil comes in addition to earlier reported bombings by Russian-built Sukhoi Su-25 “Frogfoot” jets in northeastern Iraqi.

With an increased risk for surface-to-air missile strikes, many carriers like KLM, Lufthansa, Emirates, Air France, Delta, and Virgin Atlantic have rerouted their aircraft around the war-torn region.

The traditional route through Iraq takes airliners down a corridor that runs along the eastern border of the country. Now, most airlines have chosen to take a northern route through southern Iran — instead of the southern course across Syria, which is embroiled in its own civil conflict.

There are a few major exceptions to this. Iraqi Airways is of course utilising the country’s airspace — but so is Etihad, the mega-carrier from the Gulf emirate of Abu Dhabi. Garuda Indonesia, and even British Airways flew through Iraq on August 8th.

Interestingly, even though Emirates announced it would reroute its flights, Emirates flight 952 took off from the city of Erbil, where some of the heaviest fight have occurred, on evening of August 8th.

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