KUALA LUMPUR, July 21 Malaysia Airlines
re-routed a Kuala Lumpur-to-London flight over Syrian airspace
on Sunday after its usual route over Ukraine was closed, flight
tracking data showed on Monday.
Flightradar24 posted a flight map on its Twitter account on
Monday showing the change in the flight's route. Flight tracking
data showed this flight had previously crossed over eastern
Ukraine. (To view the link: bit.ly/1wPJDUr)
After Malaysia Airlines' Flight MH17 was shot down last
Thursday by a ground-to-air missile in eastern Ukraine, airlines
began to avoid the airspace below which the Ukrainian military
has been fighting with Russian-backed rebels.
On Friday and Saturday the Kuala Lumpur-London flight, MH4,
had taken a different route over eastern Turkey, tracking data
The change in route on Sunday highlights the challenge that
airlines face in finding conflict-free passageways on the
congested routes between Asia and Europe. Hundreds of flights
routinely crossed over Ukraine before Thursday's incident, and
it is not unusual for international airlines to overfly war
zones such as Syria or Afghanistan.
The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration, whose regulations
are among the world's strictest, "strongly discourages" U.S.
operators from flying to, from or over Syria, according to a May
2013 notice on its website.
A spokesperson for Malaysia Airlines did not
immediately respond to a phone call seeking comment.
(Reporting By Trinna Leong and Anuradha Raghu; Editing by Alex