Flying to and from the middle east has been affected by the different events in the region:
- War in Syria
- Downing of the Russian plane on the Sinai
- Middle eastern carriers not allowed/not wanting to cross Israeli air space
I was discussing about this with a colleague before leaving for my travel to Doha to give courses, and then had a chance to look at the flight route we took on the return flight, on the leg from Doha (Qatar) to Istanbul on Turkish Airlines:
This clearly shows that we just crossed over the gulf, taking a “detour” over Iran, then crossing Turkey almost entirely.
While I value security onboard, this also means that the flight went from 2.5 hours to 4 hours. This made it much longer than the following leg – Istanbul to Amsterdam – which took only 3 hours.
I guess the alternative, at the moment, would be to cross Saudi Arabia, over the Red Sea, take a long detour over Egypt (clearly avoiding Sinai) and then over Crete into Turkey. This might take much longer, and I don’t know how much effective it could be. One factor to keep into consideration is also that you would be crossing more airspaces, making the flight more expensive for Turkish. Crossing the home airspace is also cheaper for them, I guess.
Strange but interesting times.