The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has ordered all U.S. air carriers and commercial operators to stop operating over the Persian Gulf and Gulf of Oman “due to heightened military activities and increased political tensions that might place commercial flights at risk.” As a result, flights are not permitted in the overwater area of the Tehran Flight Information Region until further notice.
Also on Thursday, United Airlines cancelled its flight between Newark and Mumbai, India, until further notice, a spokesperson for the airline has confirmed to Travel Agent.
“Given current events in Iran, United has conducted a thorough safety and security review of our India service through Iranian airspace and decided to suspend our service between New York/Newark and India (Mumbai) beginning this evening,” the airline said in a statement provided to Travel Agent.
The airline’s UA48 flight between New York – Newark and Mumbai has been cancelled. Customers flying onboard flight UA9239 from Mumbai back to Newark will be rebooked on alternative flights back to the United States, the airline said. Customers traveling on these flights will experience extended flight times due to a change in the flight path.
The move means that there are currently no U.S. airlines operating routes to India. Earlier this summer Delta had announced plans to begin nonstop service between New York – JFK and Mumbai. That flight is scheduled to begin December 22.
CNBC reports that the FAA order and United cancellation come a day after Iran reportedly shot down a high-altitude U.S. surveillance drone. The FAA noted that, at the time the drone was shot down, a civil aircraft was operating within 45 nautical miles.
“There were numerous civil aviation aircraft operating in the area at the time of the intercept,” the FAA said.