Some international airlines, including British Airways, Qantas, Air France and KLM, re-route flights to avoid Iran-controlled airspace over the Strait of Hormuz and the Gulf of Oman.
The movement comes after Iran brought down a high-level American drone with a ground-to-air missile, which raises concerns about the security risks for commercial airlines.
Opsgroup, which provides guidance to operators, said: & # 39; The threat of a shootdown of a civilian aircraft in southern Iran is real. & # 39;
Some international airlines, including British Airways, Qantas, Air France and KLM, re-route flights to avoid Iran-controlled airspace over the Strait of Hormuz and the Gulf of Oman
The US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has excluded its carriers from the area until further notice.
Thursday's urgent order came after Iran brought down an unarmed Global Hawk drone that can fly at a maximum of 18,000 m (18,000 m).
It was the last in a series of incidents in the Gulf region, a critical artery for global oil supplies, including explosive strikes on six oil tankers.
According to flight charter applications, the FAA said, the closest civilian aircraft was operating within about 45 nautical miles of the unmanned aircraft when it was shot.
The FAA blocks US operators from flying over parts of Iran-controlled airspace above the Strait of Hormuz and the Gulf of Oman. Tensions in the region are high after an American drone was claimed to have been shot by the Revolutionary Guards of Iran in the area
& # 39; At the time of the interception, there were numerous civil aircraft in the area, & # 39; he said, adding that the prohibition order would remain in place.
Hours earlier, United Airlines suspended flights between Newark airport in New Jersey and the Indian financial capital Mumbai after a security investigation.
British Airways, Air France, Malaysia Airlines, Qantas Airways Ltd, Singapore Airlines Ltd and KLM of the Netherlands, said they had to bridge flights to avoid the area.
The FAA said it remained concerned about the escalation of tensions and military activities in the vicinity of large-scale civil aviation routes and Iran's willingness to use long-range missiles in international airspace with little or no warning.
In July 2014, Flight MH17 of Malaysia Airlines was shot down by a rocket over Ukraine, killing all 298 on board and asking airlines to take more steps to uncover threats to their planes.
The FAA said it remained concerned about Iran's willingness to use long-range missiles in international airspace with little or no warning. Qantas said it adapted flight routes to avoid the Strait of Hormuz and the Gulf of Oman until further notice
Opsgroup added: & # 39; A large American military drone was shot down by Iran above the Strait of Hormuz. According to the US it was about international waters, Iran says it was within their FIR. Anyway, this means that Sam rockets are now being fired into the area, and that is an escalation of the risk. It looks like there was a 787 near the missile site this morning. It is recommended to avoid the Strait of Hormuz – incorrect identification of aircraft is possible.
& # 39; We should not operate passenger aircraft in the vicinity of war zones. That is the lesson of MH17, and that is the lesson that we must continue to apply when such risks appear on our horizon. & # 39;
On Friday, 640 GMT, the flight search website Flightradar24 showed flights from Qatar Airways and Emirates in the area that was banned from US airlines. The two airlines did not respond immediately to a request for comment outside office hours.
BA said: & # 39; Our safety and security team is in constant contact with authorities around the world as part of their comprehensive risk assessment for each route we use. & # 39;
Etihad Airways, which according to FlightRadar24 previously flew over the area, said it was following the situation and had adopted emergency plans.
& # 39; We will decide what further action is required after a careful evaluation of the FAA directive & # 39 ;, said the airline based in Abu Dhabi. & # 39; We are working closely with the General Civil Aviation Authority of the United Arab Emirates. & # 39;
United said it had suspended its flights to India through Iranian airspace after a & # 39; thorough safety and security assessment & # 39; but did not say how long the suspension would last.
A United spokesperson said that customers flying from Mumbai to Newark would be booked on alternative flights back to the United States.
& # 39; We continue to explore all our options and stay in close contact with relevant government agencies & # 39 ;, he added.
Dutch flag carrier KLM no longer flew over the Strait of Hormuz, a spokesperson said Friday.
Malaysia Airlines said it had avoided the airspace it had previously used on flights between Kuala Lumpur and London, Jeddah and Medina.
& # 39; The airline is keeping a close eye on the situation and is guided by various assessments, including security reports and notices to pilots & # 39 ;, it added.
Qantas said it adapted flight routes to avoid the Strait of Hormuz and the Gulf of Oman until further notice. Singapore Airlines said that some flights may require longer routings to avoid the area.
On Thursday, two other American airlines, American Airlines and Delta Air Lines, said they were not flying over Iran. Japanese Airlines Japan Airlines Co. Ltd and ANA Holdings Inc also said they did not fly over the area.
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