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a320fan
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Qatar resumes overflights of Syrian Airspace

Thu May 02, 2019 8:09 am

Seems to have occurred over the last week or so, reported on a few blogs but I noticed whilst tracking a flight family members are currently taking. Seems they've been eager to avoid some of the detouring needed since the Saudi blockade, with Athens, Beirut, Larnaca and Tunis seeming to be the main routes overflying western Iraq and Syria. For a carrier connecting so many places on such a global scale to go against EU, IATA, US recommendations to avoid the airspace and fly through the area is quite irresponsible, and is enough to make me avoid QR on routes that may take such a routing. Quite uncomfortable to see family members routed over the area all the save the airline some $. Surprised their insurance would even let them overfly after what happened with MH17.

Old routing around the avoided airspace.
Image

New routing that seems to have began over the last week to few days.

Image


news source: https://www.gulf-times.com/story/630403 ... n-airspace
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Jomar777
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Re: Qatar resumes overflights of Syrian Airspace

Thu May 02, 2019 8:38 am

I travel very often to Doha and am not fussed.
The planes fly over 40,000 feet and the actual conflict there does not affect such flights.
What still baffles me is the ability of KSA and Bahrain to keep their skies closed for a commercial airline and IATA do nothing about it.
 
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c933103
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Re: Qatar resumes overflights of Syrian Airspace

Thu May 02, 2019 8:43 am

Jomar777 wrote:
I travel very often to Doha and am not fussed.
The planes fly over 40,000 feet and the actual conflict there does not affect such flights.
What still baffles me is the ability of KSA and Bahrain to keep their skies closed for a commercial airline and IATA do nothing about it.

Nothing IATA can do to a brunch of sovereignty nations
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VCy
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Re: Qatar resumes overflights of Syrian Airspace

Thu May 02, 2019 8:45 am

Does this mean that the routing has been approved by the civil aviation authorities of the destination countries? Or can airlines decide to use any routing the wish?
 
a320fan
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Re: Qatar resumes overflights of Syrian Airspace

Thu May 02, 2019 8:49 am

VCy wrote:
Does this mean that the routing has been approved by the civil aviation authorities of the destination countries? Or can airlines decide to use any routing the wish?

That's my question too, EASA only increased the validity of the conflict zone warning 2 weeks ago, yet QR starts flying through to EU destinations likely with planes carrying a lot of EU citizens.
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Jomar777
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Re: Qatar resumes overflights of Syrian Airspace

Thu May 02, 2019 8:59 am

a320fan wrote:
VCy wrote:
Does this mean that the routing has been approved by the civil aviation authorities of the destination countries? Or can airlines decide to use any routing the wish?

That's my question too, EASA only increased the validity of the conflict zone warning 2 weeks ago, yet QR starts flying through to EU destinations likely with planes carrying a lot of EU citizens.


Again, they fly quite high. Usually, you expect a long haul flight to stick to 35000 feet but Qatari Flights operate at 4000 (have been in one that was showing 42000 on the monitor once - not sure it was accurate). They feel comfortable in doing so and it minimises the constraints of not being able to fly over KSA airspace.
 
Blerg
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Re: Qatar resumes overflights of Syrian Airspace

Thu May 02, 2019 9:13 am

Qatar is not a joke of an airline so I am sure they did their homework. After all, MEA has been overflying this area for quite some time and nothing happened to them.
 
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Qatara340
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Re: Qatar resumes overflights of Syrian Airspace

Thu May 02, 2019 9:27 am

Other airlines are currently assessing flights TO Syria including EK, FlyDubai, Gulf Air, and Oman Air.

I think the main restraint here is that any money being paid goes to the Syrian government, which are sanctioned--and not the actual saftey.

I certainly welcome this move--saves A LOT of time.

Destinations that used this route: Tunis, Algeria, Casablanca, Marrakesh, Cyprus, Sao Paolo (only yesterday), Beirut, Athens.
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ramzi
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Re: Qatar resumes overflights of Syrian Airspace

Thu May 02, 2019 1:14 pm

This is a game changer for the DOH-BEY route operating 4x daily, shaving off over 30% of the flight time. Makes connecting in Doha far more convenient than connecting in Dubai, this will definitely help the loads in the summer. The same must apply for Larnaca.
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zakuivcustom
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Re: Qatar resumes overflights of Syrian Airspace

Thu May 02, 2019 1:22 pm

Isn't southern part of Syria relatively stable for awhile? I thought most of the fightings are up in the northern part anyway (especially along Euphrates).
 
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atcsundevil
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Re: Qatar resumes overflights of Syrian Airspace

Thu May 02, 2019 1:31 pm

Jomar777 wrote:
Again, they fly quite high. Usually, you expect a long haul flight to stick to 35000 feet but Qatari Flights operate at 4000 (have been in one that was showing 42000 on the monitor once - not sure it was accurate). They feel comfortable in doing so and it minimises the constraints of not being able to fly over KSA airspace.

My guess is that would not be accurate — unless things are different there, FL420 is not a usable altitude. Above FL410 is non-RVSM and requires 2,000ft vertical separation, so the usable altitudes above FL410 are odd altitudes only (unless in a block altitude).
 
b747400erf
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Re: Qatar resumes overflights of Syrian Airspace

Sat May 04, 2019 4:01 am

This move is political since the Saudi's started the fight and Qatar has moved under the orbit of Iran and Russia and their allies like Assad. The location they are flying over is under government control and no rebel group can take down an airline flying at cruise.
 
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Dublinspotter
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Re: Qatar resumes overflights of Syrian Airspace

Sat May 04, 2019 1:22 pm

Afternoon,

Although in recent times the civil war in Syria has improved significantly in certain parts, Syria is still a dangerous place to go with fighting still occurring in many areas of the country. A part of me wishes QR would have continued to err on the side of caution when overflying volatile regions.

FL400 is fairly high for most SAMs to reach (as typically FL360 is the maximum height), but complacency breeds stupidity, which could prompt QR, or other airlines to start overflying at lower heights in the future. MH17 was at FL330 when it overflew eastern Ukraine.

Just a few thoughts.

Best,
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Blerg
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Re: Qatar resumes overflights of Syrian Airspace

Sun May 05, 2019 6:51 pm

b747400erf wrote:
This move is political since the Saudi's started the fight and Qatar has moved under the orbit of Iran and Russia and their allies like Assad. The location they are flying over is under government control and no rebel group can take down an airline flying at cruise.


So it's more a safety issue than a political one. ;) You said it yourself: and no rebel group can take down an airline flying at cruise.
 
b747400erf
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Re: Qatar resumes overflights of Syrian Airspace

Mon May 06, 2019 2:20 am

Blerg wrote:
b747400erf wrote:
This move is political since the Saudi's started the fight and Qatar has moved under the orbit of Iran and Russia and their allies like Assad. The location they are flying over is under government control and no rebel group can take down an airline flying at cruise.


So it's more a safety issue than a political one. ;) You said it yourself: and no rebel group can take down an airline flying at cruise.

There is no safety issue if no rebel group has control of systems that can target airliners at cruise. It is political for Qatar to support the dictator by overflying the country. Just as it is political to not support a certain country to the west of Jordan by not overflying their airspace.
 
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lightsaber
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Re: Qatar resumes overflights of Syrian Airspace

Mon May 06, 2019 4:31 am

I look at this as risk to reward. Due to the shear amount of closed airspace, QR has a high reward for a low risk of overflight of Syria. Not ideal, but unless they can fly over Saudi, this is really the only viable choice.

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Blerg
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Re: Qatar resumes overflights of Syrian Airspace

Mon May 06, 2019 6:32 am

b747400erf wrote:
Blerg wrote:
b747400erf wrote:
This move is political since the Saudi's started the fight and Qatar has moved under the orbit of Iran and Russia and their allies like Assad. The location they are flying over is under government control and no rebel group can take down an airline flying at cruise.


So it's more a safety issue than a political one. ;) You said it yourself: and no rebel group can take down an airline flying at cruise.

There is no safety issue if no rebel group has control of systems that can target airliners at cruise. It is political for Qatar to support the dictator by overflying the country. Just as it is political to not support a certain country to the west of Jordan by not overflying their airspace.


I don't think politics have anything to do with this. It has more to do with cutting flight times and reducing expenses/losses on the routes that were the most affected. From what I understood not all routes use this space, it's mostly those that have to like Larnaca and Beirut. After all, MEA has been using the Syrian air space for a long time and nothing happened.
 
b747400erf
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Re: Qatar resumes overflights of Syrian Airspace

Tue May 07, 2019 2:14 pm

Blerg wrote:
b747400erf wrote:
Blerg wrote:

So it's more a safety issue than a political one. ;) You said it yourself: and no rebel group can take down an airline flying at cruise.

There is no safety issue if no rebel group has control of systems that can target airliners at cruise. It is political for Qatar to support the dictator by overflying the country. Just as it is political to not support a certain country to the west of Jordan by not overflying their airspace.


I don't think politics have anything to do with this. It has more to do with cutting flight times and reducing expenses/losses on the routes that were the most affected. From what I understood not all routes use this space, it's mostly those that have to like Larnaca and Beirut. After all, MEA has been using the Syrian air space for a long time and nothing happened.

It is politics. If Qatar did not approve of the Assad regime they would avoid overflying the country.
 
Blerg
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Re: Qatar resumes overflights of Syrian Airspace

Tue May 07, 2019 5:11 pm

b747400erf wrote:
Blerg wrote:
b747400erf wrote:
There is no safety issue if no rebel group has control of systems that can target airliners at cruise. It is political for Qatar to support the dictator by overflying the country. Just as it is political to not support a certain country to the west of Jordan by not overflying their airspace.


I don't think politics have anything to do with this. It has more to do with cutting flight times and reducing expenses/losses on the routes that were the most affected. From what I understood not all routes use this space, it's mostly those that have to like Larnaca and Beirut. After all, MEA has been using the Syrian air space for a long time and nothing happened.

It is politics. If Qatar did not approve of the Assad regime they would avoid overflying the country.


*yawn*

Their primary concern is safety as otherwise they would be flying over Syria since day one which isn't the case. No need to pollute this thread with politics.
 
Tjoeker
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Re: Qatar resumes overflights of Syrian Airspace

Tue May 07, 2019 8:26 pm

It is politics. If Qatar did not approve of the Assad regime they would avoid overflying the country.


So all of Europe now approves the North Korean regime?

KLM, Lufthansa & Finnair using North Korean airspace!? - bear7
 
b747400erf
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Re: Qatar resumes overflights of Syrian Airspace

Wed May 08, 2019 6:14 am

Blerg wrote:
b747400erf wrote:
Blerg wrote:

I don't think politics have anything to do with this. It has more to do with cutting flight times and reducing expenses/losses on the routes that were the most affected. From what I understood not all routes use this space, it's mostly those that have to like Larnaca and Beirut. After all, MEA has been using the Syrian air space for a long time and nothing happened.

It is politics. If Qatar did not approve of the Assad regime they would avoid overflying the country.


*yawn*

Their primary concern is safety as otherwise they would be flying over Syria since day one which isn't the case. No need to pollute this thread with politics.

Overflying a country is politics, do you remember the ME3 airline still banned from flying over some countries? There has never been a threat shooting down airlines by rebel groups. There is no safety concern. Iran Russia support the Assad regime. Saudi UAE and their western allies do not and avoid the airspace.
Last edited by b747400erf on Wed May 08, 2019 6:17 am, edited 1 time in total.
 
b747400erf
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Re: Qatar resumes overflights of Syrian Airspace

Wed May 08, 2019 6:16 am

Tjoeker wrote:
It is politics. If Qatar did not approve of the Assad regime they would avoid overflying the country.


So all of Europe now approves the North Korean regime?

KLM, Lufthansa & Finnair using North Korean airspace!? - bear7

Right the west is attempting diplomacy with the Kim regime to negotiate nuclear disarmament and have been for over a year. Do you live under a rock?
 
Blerg
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Re: Qatar resumes overflights of Syrian Airspace

Wed May 08, 2019 6:20 am

b747400erf wrote:
Blerg wrote:
b747400erf wrote:
It is politics. If Qatar did not approve of the Assad regime they would avoid overflying the country.


*yawn*

Their primary concern is safety as otherwise they would be flying over Syria since day one which isn't the case. No need to pollute this thread with politics.

Overflying a country is politics, do you remember the ME3 airline still banned from flying over some countries? There has never been a threat shooting down airlines by rebel groups. There is no safety concern. Iran Russia support the Assad regime. Saudi UAE and their western allies do not and avoid the airspace.


Both Etihad and flydubai have shown interest in returning to Damascus. Once again, stop polluting the thread with politics as we will eventually go off-topic.

https://simpleflying.com/flying-to-syria/
 
b747400erf
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Re: Qatar resumes overflights of Syrian Airspace

Wed May 08, 2019 6:26 am

Blerg wrote:
b747400erf wrote:
Blerg wrote:

*yawn*

Their primary concern is safety as otherwise they would be flying over Syria since day one which isn't the case. No need to pollute this thread with politics.

Overflying a country is politics, do you remember the ME3 airline still banned from flying over some countries? There has never been a threat shooting down airlines by rebel groups. There is no safety concern. Iran Russia support the Assad regime. Saudi UAE and their western allies do not and avoid the airspace.


Both Etihad and flydubai have shown interest in returning to Damascus. Once again, stop polluting the thread with politics as we will eventually go off-topic.

https://simpleflying.com/flying-to-syria/

Interested in examining route viability

that sounds super serious!

Each reply you get more and more upset and accusing me of being off topic. Is your reply here on topic at all? Another dig at me.
 
Blerg
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Re: Qatar resumes overflights of Syrian Airspace

Wed May 08, 2019 6:37 am

b747400erf wrote:
Blerg wrote:
b747400erf wrote:
Overflying a country is politics, do you remember the ME3 airline still banned from flying over some countries? There has never been a threat shooting down airlines by rebel groups. There is no safety concern. Iran Russia support the Assad regime. Saudi UAE and their western allies do not and avoid the airspace.


Both Etihad and flydubai have shown interest in returning to Damascus. Once again, stop polluting the thread with politics as we will eventually go off-topic.

https://simpleflying.com/flying-to-syria/

Interested in examining route viability

that sounds super serious!

Each reply you get more and more upset and accusing me of being off topic. Is your reply here on topic at all? Another dig at me.


The last time I checked you brought politics into this. And anyway, route examination shows that the route is not off the table at least not completely.
 
garcan
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Re: Qatar resumes overflights of Syrian Airspace

Wed May 08, 2019 7:05 am

b747400erf wrote:
There is no safety concern. Iran Russia support the Assad regime. Saudi UAE and their western allies do not and avoid the airspace.

Funny enough, Bahrain and UAE reopened their embassies in Syria, and Qatar did not. https://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/opinion/uae-bahrain-open-embassies-syria-190107165601089.html

In this case I don't think it is difficult to understand why Qatar Airways is overflying Syria (I am sure they have done a thorough risk assessment), just by checking FR24 you can see that flights to Beirut and Larnaca now take around 1 hour (!) less than before. Some other destinations take around 30 min less (all of them mentioned here).

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