Airlines divert flights, avoid Afghanistan airspace as Taliban takes Kabul

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The effects of instability on the ground in Afghanistan are stretching as far as 40,000 feet in the air as airlines around the world reroute their flights away from Afghan airspace.

After the US announced it was withdrawing its military from Afghanistan, the Taliban has swiftly retaken the country, with the capital of Kabul falling to the Islamist group over the weekend.

Consequently, Virgin Atlantic and British Airways made major flight change announcements at the weekend, after other airlines had apparently re-routed away from Afghanistan.

Monday’s SQ319 Singapore Airlines service from London to Singapore took a route that would take it ‘over the top’ above Denmark, Estonia, Russia, Kazakhstan and China.map© Provided by Newshub

The flight usually tracks a lot further south, above Germany, Romania, Afghanistan, Pakistan and India.

It’s far from the first time there have been changes to the flight paths due to conflicts. In the months following July 2014, flights avoided Ukraine after the shooting down of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17, which killed 298 people.map© Provided by Newshub

The decision by airlines to reroute flights came just after an Emirates flight to Kabul was diverted to Dubai. The airline confirmed the flight turned around and returned to Dubai due to the closure of Kabul’s airport.map© Provided by Newshub

The Emirates Boeing 777-300 flight circled over Afghanistan for some time before the decision was made to return to Dubai.

“We are monitoring developments around the situation in Afghanistan and are working closely with all the relevant authorities to ensure the safe operation of our services,” an Emirates spokesperson said.

Air New Zealand is not currently operating any flights over Afghanistan. AdChoices

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