A Lufthansa flight bound for Tehran was canceled for a day then put back in the schedule, only for the first rescheduled flight to turn around mid-flight and return back to Frankfurt.
What are the details?
Lufthansa has followed other airlines in moves to stop flying in Iranian airspace.
This began when Iran retaliated for the assassination of one of its top military leaders by the United States. Missiles fired at US forces prompted Lufthansa, among other airlines, to pause flights to the region.
According to Reuters, Lufthansa decided to cancel its last Wednesday flight between Frankfurt and Tehran until it was happy that the region was safe. As a precaution, Lufthansa also canceled its flight to nearby Erbil in Iraq on Saturday.
But when cooler heads prevailed and the conflict settled, Lufthansa decided to rebook passengers and resume flights back to Tehran.
“Tehran airport was open and there were no security restrictions (NOTAMs) for the approach or the surrounding area.” – Lufthansa spokesperson to Reuters at the time.
However, the carrier went on to mention any other Lufthansa group flights beyond the Middle East would fly around Iraq and Iran.
Lufthansa flights to Tehran resumed, and a Lufthansa A330-300 full of passengers took off from Frankfurt on Thursday.
But, midflight, crew got the news that the Ukrainian Boeing 737 may have been shot down, rather than crashed with a mechanical failure. Essentially, because this means that outside forces are acting on aircraft in the region, that the 737 was not an isolated event, the surrounding Irainain airspace is no longer safe for flights.
Thus, the aircraft turned around in Romanian airspace.
This will be very frustrating for the passengers on board and those who were delayed earlier in the week, but we can understand that Lufthansa does not want to risk an attack on their own aircraft (if reports turn out to be confirmed).
The aircraft managed to fly back to Frankfurt and land safely around four hours later.
It also appears that Lufthansa has canceled flights to Tehran for tomorrow, and might be considering canceling the route for the foreseeable future.
Passengers looking to fly to Tehran will have to do so on another carrier, but as time moves forward and tensions mount that list of airlines is growing smaller. Likely we will see other European carriers cancel flights to Iran until the conclusion of this crisis.
Lufthansa has been reached out to for comment, but as of publishing, we are yet to hear back from them at this time.
What do you think? Did Lufthansa take the right action? Let us know in the comments.