My wife and I and some of our friends travel to the UK quite often to see relatives. My wife is there right now. Because of the present troubles in the Middle East, including threats to commercial shipping, have the flight paths of Emirates and other airlines changed to avoid these areas?

  • Just checking--origin is DXB?
    – mkennedy
    Jan 5 at 3:35
  • 5
    Ships have the disadvantage of travelling at approximately 0 feet above sea level. Planes are generally much higher.
    – Doc
    Jan 5 at 6:01
  • The Middle East is a large area, could you be more specific?
    – Berend
    Jan 5 at 8:14
  • The rebels in Yemen attacking ships say it's because the ships might have supplies for Israel, as the involved planes don't have any reasonable way of delivering supplies to Israel I guess they are not a target for those rebels. So my guess is that those threats have not caused Emirates (or any other airline) to change flight paths. Jan 5 at 13:01

1 Answer 1


Quite generally airlines do not like their planes being shot down, so they constantly monitor the situation and adjust their flight paths as necessary.

In some cases it's the country involved which closes its airspace anyway, in other cases the industry make their own evaluation of the risks. Some large areas like Ukraine or Afghanistan are quite obviously avoided by airlines. In other places it may be more fine-grained, like parts of Syria and Iraq, Israel, etc.

The current threats to commercial shipping are from Houthi rebels in Yemen, quite far from the flight paths from Dubai to the UK. I'm not sure they have weapons which could pose a risk to airliners, but flights which would make sense to go that way have been rerouted to avoid Yemen completely, as can be seen by looking at FlightRadar24 for instance. Here are a few examples:

  • A flight from Emirates:

    enter image description here

  • And another one from Qatar Airways:

    enter image description here

The few planes over Yemen at this time are all flights to/from Yemen itself, operated by Yemenia, their national airline. There are also a few flights to/from Yemen operated by other airlines, I suppose they evaluated the associated risks.

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