Wizz Air (W6, Budapest) and Turkish Airlines (TK, Istanbul New) have added to the slew of carriers that are facing operational issues or flight cancellations as a result of the ongoing unrest in the Middle East, according to Polish news website Pasazer and ch-aviation schedules research.

Earlier this month, Iran launched a ballistic missile attack on airbases housing US forces in Iraq, in retaliation for the US killing of Qasem Soleimani, a general in Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), on January 3. This was followed on January 8 by the crash of a Ukraine International Airlines (PS, Kyiv Boryspil) B737-800 shortly after take-off from Tehran Imam Khomeini, killing all 167 passengers and 9 crew on board. The IRGC has since admitted to accidentally downing the aircraft with a Russian surface-to-air missile.

As a result of these developments, ultra-low-cost carrier Wizz Air will suspend its flights over Iranian and Iraqi airspace, which is affecting its numerous routes to Dubai World Central. The airline flies to the UAE airport from Bucharest Otopeni (5x weekly), Budapest (daily), Cluj-Napoca (once weekly), Katowice (2x weekly) and Sofia (2x weekly).

With the exception of the service from Katowice, the remaining four European outbound routes will have to take a longer flightpath over Egypt and Saudi Arabia to Dubai. The Polish route is planned to have a technical stop in Larnaca, however on January 10 it operated non-stop to Dubai, according to Flightradar24 ADS-B data. All inbound flights to Europe are planned to stopover in Cyprus. As a result of these operational changes, and extended duty times, some Wizz Air crew will have to overnight in Larnaca.

Although normal operations have been now been resumed, Turkish Airlines cancelled most of its services to Iran on January 8 from both Istanbul New and Istanbul Sabiha Gökcen. It offers flights to Isfahan Int'l, Mashad, Tehran Imam Khomeini, Shiraz and Tabriz. A day later, the Star Alliance carrier cancelled the majority of flights to its five destinations in Iraq - namely Baghdad, Basrah, Erbil, Sulaymaniyah, and Najaf.