Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Flights rerouted to avoid North Korea rocket

Asian airlines said they will divert planes from the intended flight path of North Korea's rocket as shipping in the area was warned on Tuesday to beware of falling debris.

Japan's two largest carriers, Japan Airlines and All Nippon Airways said they will alter the route of flights between Tokyo and Southeast Asian cities including Manila, Jakarta and Singapore during the planned rocket launch window.

Philippine Airlines said it "plans to reroute some of its flights in view of the possible effects on a portion of Philippine territory of the satellite launch of North Korea within the month."

The moves came as Philippine air control authorities declared a no fly zone in airspace where North Korea's rocket was projected to pass, a Japanese transport ministry official told AFP.

"The Japanese side are also preparing to issue a 'notice to airmen' that warns them not to enter a no fly zone set by the Philippine authorities," he said.

"These no fly zone-related notices should apply to all international carriers," he added.

The re-routing comes as North Korea ramps up its preparations for what it says is a peaceful satellite launch, but what Japan and its Western allies claim is a disguised missile test. more