Airlines Rerouting Flights Around Afghanistan as Country Falls to Taliban

August 16, 2021

United Airlines Boeing 777

UPDATE: United States airlines have been called in by the U.S. Department of Defense to help move evacuees.

Multiple airlines are rerouting flights and avoiding Afghanistan airspace as the country sinks in to unstable turmoil and The Taliban takes over the country.

Several news outlets report that essentially all the airlines are now avoiding the country, especially Kabul Airport as violence is erupting there.

CNBC reports that Afghan officials say air traffic control has been handed over to the military and that planes will be “flying in un-controlled airspace at their own risk,” according to a notice to pilots:

United Airlines on Sunday started rerouting its U.S.-India flights around Afghanistan.

“Due to the dynamic nature of the situation we have begun routing affected flights around Afghanistan airspace,” the airline said in a statement. The carrier serves Delhi from its Newark Liberty International Airport hub daily and five times a week from Chicago O’Hare International Airport. It also flies from Newark to Mumbai daily. The flights are among its longest routes.

British Airways, Virgin Atlantic, Singapore Airlines and Lufthansa also said their flights are avoiding Afghanistan airspace.

United said it “will continue to work closely” with the Federal Aviation Administration and the International Air Transport Association “to evaluate the situation and determine how we continue service to markets impacted.”

Here is a list of airlines that we know of that are NOT flying in to Afghanistan airspace:

United Airlines

British Airways

Virgin Atlantic

Singapore Airlines

Lufthansa

Flydubai and Emirates airlines said they suspended flights to Kabul.

“Customers holding tickets with final destination to Kabul will not be accepted for travel at their point of origin,” Emirates said, directing customers to reach out to the carrier or travel agents.

Earlier Sunday, Emirates Flight EK640, a Boeing 777-300, returned to Dubai after nearing Kabul. The U.S. Embassy in Kabul warned of reports of fire at the airport.

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