Gone are the days when the flight support companies had fixed and favorite routings for flights between Europe and Southern Asia. With more and more airspaces entering the risk & high risk category, planning every flight requires an eye on the current affairs and news, constant update on the NOTAMS and a constant scan of all the pilot message boards for the latest SITREPS. As if Syria, Iraq and Ukraine were not enough we now have Iran and the restrictions over Pakistan.
It is becoming increasingly complicated to plan any routings between Europe and South Asia. As per the reputed ops.group website Pakistan, Afghanistan, Iran, Iraq, Saudi Arabia & Egypt are at Level 2 Risk. Syria, Yemen & Libya are at Level 1. So effectively when planning, it is a choice between Level 1 & Level 2 Risk areas.
Over the last few weeks we have seen an ever increasing hostile activity from Yemen to the Saudi Arabia and the sword still hanging on the Iran – USA conflict, the risk of a sudden blockade of Civil Air Traffic is very very real.
The countries involved must take all possible steps to de-escalate the situation immediately to avoid any flare ups. However, till this happens the Flight Planners and dispatchers need to remain on the edge of their seats while operating flights through the region.