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graphic showing range of buk missiles and altitude of mh17 data

Qantas says Iraq flight path is still safe despite MH17 disaster


Top officials from the UN’s International Civil Aviation Organisation, as well as groups that represent the world’s air carriers, airports and air navigation service providers will attend tomorrow’s meeting, which comes in the wake of the downing of Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 in eastern Ukraine.

The gathering in Montreal is also in response to growing public anger over how countries make case-by-case decisions to restrict commercial aircraft from flying over war zones.

Overnight, Emirates announced it would divert its flights from Iraqi airspace because of the insurgency by Islamic State militants on the ground.

Qantas has issued a statement saying it still considers flying over Iraq safe due to the cruising altitude its planes maintain.

“There are no warnings on the flight levels that Qantas currently uses over Iraq, which are flown by multiple airlines. Our average flight level over this space is around 38,000 feet to 41,000 feet,” the statement said.

“There is no suggestion that flying over Iraq is unsafe for commercial airlines, particularly given the cruising altitude that most, including Qantas, maintain.”

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