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Planes should avoid all conflict zones, says Germany

After Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 went down on Thursday, questions were raised as to why airlines were flying over a conflict zone.

On Friday, a spokesman for German's transport ministry warned airlines against flying over all crisis zones, not just eastern Ukraine.

Airlines had diverted their planes following the incident and Ukraine on Friday closed its airspace over the area. 

But Germany has now gone one step further by including all conflict zones in a warning sent out by the Federal Aviation Authority to Germany’s 144 aviation firms. That would appear to include other regions such as Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan. 

But it is still up to individual countries to close their own airspace. 

A whole new risk

Mr Joerg Handwerg, a board member at German pilots’ union Vereinigung Cockpit and an A320 captain, told Reuters: “Flying over contested territories such as Afghanistan was previously thought of as unproblematic, because there were no weapons that could reach passenger planes at the altitudes they fly."

“From the point of view of pilots, the threat was of a different quality before. There were only a few flights that were classed as critical ... But now planes flying at 10,000 metres above the entire country are a risk.”

Source: Reuters

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