• MIAMI – The US Department of Transportation (DOT) has fined Emirates Airlines (EK) US$400,000 for conducting flights in areas of restricted Iranian airspace in 2019. The incursion involved a JetBlue Airways (B6) codeshare flight with a B6 code, and thus subject to US regulations.

Owing to heightened military activities and increased political tensions, the US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) had barred flights within Iranian airspace. The DOT said EK operated flights over parts of said airspace for 19 days in July 2019, disregarding the FAA bar.

According to newshub.co.nz, EK told the department that the issue was the result of an “inadvertent oversight.’ The airline also said that in the interest of resolving this matter, it agreed to this settlement.

Photo: Luca Flores

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The airline says it takes its regulatory compliance responsibilities extremely seriously while noting that the flight restrictions apply only on flights where it transports passengers ticketed under a US air carrier’s designator code; thus, admitting it did so as per its use of the B6 flight code for the flight in question.

The airline did advise the DOT that it had suspended for a limited period of time and at a considerable cost, all flight operations in the designated Iranian airspace except for a twice-daily service to Tehran.

Within 120 days, Emirates must pay US$ 200,000 of the fine. The balance will be waived if, within one year, there are no more breaches of Iranian airspace.


Featured image: Luca Flores