I wonder if anyone can help me. I am a very nervous flyer at the best of times, but I booked a week in Dubai not really thinking of the flight route. I am flying with Emirates and I am concerned that I will have to fly over Syria and Iraq or to avoid those, to fly over Iran which doesn't really seem much better. This terrifies me! Does anyone have any ideas what route it might take?
I looked up an Emirates flight from Gatwick to Dubai on FlightRadar24 and came up with EK12. Seems they avoid Syria and Iraq and fly over Iran.
There is no guarantee it'll take the exact same route each day, but it should mostly be similar. In any case, you can browse a few days into the past to see daily variations.
there are a few websites out there to check the exactly route an airplane takes. try http://www.flightradar24.com/ for example.
I believe everyone is entitled to their fears; but keep in mind that:
Emirates has responsibility for the safety of everyone on that aircraft - including their own staff and all the other passengers.
The Dubai - London route is quite a busy one, with flights from Emirates and BA as well; and these airlines care above all else, about safety.
It takes very expensive, very complicated equipment to try to shoot down an airliner traveling at cruise altitude. This is not something that any dumbo with a shoulder fired rocket can do. You need radar tracking, complicated missile equipment and the know how to operate all the above - none of which has been confirmed in the possession of groups like ISIS.
Iran is not an active conflict area; there are no flight restrictions for any commercial traffic. If there was even a hint of trouble, flights would be suspended - as Emirates recently did when they suspended flights over the Sinai due to the plane crash there.
All commercial traffic takes well known airways (defined points and vectors), which are setup to minimize flight time and maximize fuel efficiency. Airlines rarely fly around these known airways; unless directed by air traffic or as a consequence of weather. These airways also enjoy full radar coverage since they are busy traffic areas.
Therefore, please rest assured that - barring turbulence - you should have a comfortable flight.
This is the current status of flights over Iran/Iraq from flightradar24.com:
As you can see, there is a very busy airway over Iran that is in heavy use by multiple airlines, include British Airways' daily 156 from Kuwait to Heathrow:
Further along, you can see all flights are flying the same route to Europe:
The few planes flying over Syria are also commercial traffic, but they are bound for other destinations.
No need to worry, many of the claims of ISIS of having acquired sophisticated weapon systems have been debunked, see e.g. here:
Google Images once again showed that the photo of the Soviet-made SA-6 missile battery was actually taken by an American military photographer in Baghdad in May, 2003 at Baghdad International Airport. Not only that, but the original source of the photo on the Internet is the Pentagon's own imagery website.