Jordan's national carrier stops flying over Syrian airspace

AMMAN, March 3 Sun Mar 3, 2013 10:17am EST

AMMAN, March 3 (Reuters) - Jordan's national carrier Royal Jordanian has stopped flying over Syrian airspace for security reasons, the airline's head said on Sunday.

Syria is a major air and land transport hub for the Gulf and eastern Europe, and nearly two years of revolt there against President Bashar al-Assad has already severely hit multibillion dollar cargo routes from Turkey to the Gulf and vice versa.

The airline, a leading regional carrier, said the move would primarily affect Beirut, a major destination, with a route via Egyptian airspace and over the Mediterranean making a longer journey of its four daily flights.

"This move reflects the airline's commitment to the safety of passengers and security of operations, even though this procedure involves additional costs to the company," Amer Hadidi, President and CEO of Royal Jordanian told Reuters.

The airline stopped its regular flights to Damascus last year along with some other carriers.

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