On Tuesday, Dick Tobiano, chief pilot at Qantas, said that the airline believes that there is no real danger in using the airspace over Iraq.
“There is no information to suggest that there is risk to commercial aircraft passing over Iraq, particularly at the altitudes we fly,” Tobiano said after concerns have been raised about passenger aircraft flying over war zones, in the wake of the MH17 disaster.
“Qantas is one of many airlines that currently flies over parts of Iraq en route to Europe,” he said, according to AFP.
He continued that as Qantas flies at about 40,000 feet which far exceeds the US Federal Aviation Administration’s recommendation of flying above 20,000 feet to avoid ground launched missiles.
“Qantas would never compromise its passengers or crew by flying over an area if we thought it was unsafe.”
“We will continue to monitor the situation closely and make any changes needed to ensure the safety of our passengers.”
Ground attacks on passenger aircraft has been a real and present danger after 298 people on board the Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 died when it was shot down by a missile above rebel-held territory in eastern Ukraine earleir this month.