Airlines make emergency plans to re-route planes in event of Syria attack

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A number of the world's biggest airlines are creating contingency plans for the event of a military attack on Syria.

Emirates, British Airways and Etihad have redrawn existing flights that pass through or close to Syrian air space to ensure safety around potential missiles that may fly.

According to National Geographic, British Airways says it was considering intercontinental flights from the UK to Asia and Australia that pass over the Middle East.

Tim Clark, president of Emirates, told the Sunday Telegraph: "We are always in a state of preparedness for anything like this and the operations group of the company will have all of this on watch; contingency plans will be in place should anything happen."

An Etihad spokesman told the newspaper: "We have drawn up robust flight re-routing contingency plans in the event of any airspace being closed to commercial aircraft."

Air France has changed the timing of its Paris to Lebanese capital Beirut flight following developments in the Middle East. A spokeswoman told Reuters: "Air France has changed its flight schedule to and from Beirut."

Cyprus Airways has rescheduled its evening flight from Larnaca to Beirut to avoid an overnight stay in the capital, Reuters reports.

Aviation analyst John Strickland told the Sunday Telegraph travellers should expect disruptions if a conflict breaks out.

"That can disrupt schedules of course because if you're having to follow more secure routings you're not able to run to your normal schedule and that directly feeds through to airlines having to burn more fuel," he said.

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