13 November 2023
Freight News

Flights Get Longer as Airlines Are Forced to Skirt War Zones

The Middle East has long been a global crossroads for air travel, with hundreds of aircraft bisecting the region every day on long-distance journeys connecting the U.S., Europe and Asia.

Plying those routes has become more challenging, with rising tensions forcing airlines to curtail services as a safety precaution. The war between Israel and Hamas, in a region already studded with hot zones, has added to the complications of flying between east and west.

That’s after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine already added hours to many journeys by shutting down vast airspace to many transnational operators – including the Great Circle routes through Siberia, a popular gateway between the continents.

Each extra hour of flight added $7,227 to the variable cost of a typical widebody journey in 2021, based on Federal Aviation Administration estimates. Expenses such as fuel and labour have only increased since then, said John Gradek, an expert on aviation operations and lecturer at McGill University in Montreal.

Read more in an article from the American Journal of Transportation.

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