Airlines will be exercising caution in the eastern Mediterranean after Pan-European air traffic control agency Eurocontrol warned carriers of possible air strikes into Syria this week.
With the launch of air-to-ground and/or cruise missiles in the area, Eurocontrol said there was the potential of intermittent disruption of radio navigation equipment, Reuters reported.
According to the news agency, Eurocontrol did not specify on its website the origin of any potential missile threat, but said “due consideration needs to be taken when planning flight operations in the Eastern Mediterranean/Nicosia FIR area”.
Most carriers already avoid Syrian airspace, but the new warning includes a broader area outside the airspace controlled by Damascus.
A map on Eurocontrol’s website doesn’t flag any specific territory as being the “Eastern Mediterranean” region, but the Nicosia region named in the statement covers the island of Cyprus and surrounding waters.
Airlines and regulators have been extra vigilant about the risks conflict zones pose to passenger planes since Malaysia Airlines MH17 was shot down in 2014, while more recently, unannounced North Korean missile testing forced the re-routing of flights around parts of the Sea of Japan.