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‘Flyover States’ Do Not Include Israel, Syria or the Caliphate

September 5th, 2014 · No Comments · Abu Dhabi, France, Paris, Rome, Travel

Flying to and from Europe, with Abu Dhabi at the start and finish, makes for some interesting evasive actions.

On the way over last month, to Rome, we went mostly due east from the AUH, skirted Israel, then made a sudden move to the northwest, straight for Rome.

Airlines that are flag carriers for the Gulf states do not like to fly over Israel.

And on the way back today, from Paris?

EY (Etihad Airlines) Flight 32 made a point of not flying over Syria, which has been mired in civil war for nearly four years, nor over any bit of the so-called Caliphate set up by the murderous jihadis in the east of Syria and over most of western Iraq.

That meant steering north, rather than taking a direct rout, and staying over Turkey, crossing into Iraq (or the future Kurdistan) not far from Erbil.

The Airbus 340 then hung a fairly sharp right near the Iran border, because the Gulf carriers prefer not to fly over Iran (and Iran may prefer the Gulf carriers stay away, too), and then southeast down the Iraq side of the border with Iran.

That way, we missed Syria and the Caliphate, each of which have people with the sort of anti-aircraft missiles that brought down the unfortunate Malaysia Airlines flight over Ukraine, back on July 17, killing all aboard.

As we neared the Gulf, tonight, we made a shift to the northeast, and appeared to fly over a slice of Iran — at least, according to the flight map showing inside the airplane.

Maybe Iran is less touchy about passing over its southwest edge? Or the map was in error?

Just goes to show that the world is not as safe a place as we would like it to be, especially while flying in lumbering passenger planes over hostile territory.

We landed without incident, and by then we were complaining more about being late — even if being late may have had something to do with a flight path that was anything but direct.


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