Emirates has decided to suspend flights over Iraq to protect against the threat of Islamic militants on the ground.
The airline was taking “precautionary measures” and “working on alternative routing plans for flights using Iraqi airspace”.
The move follows the Malaysian Airlines’ Flight MH17 disaster. MH17 was shot down while flying over Ukraine.
Emirates said it is already re-routing some flights.
It will take a few days for the re-routing to be completed, the airline added.
“We are closely monitoring the situation along with international agencies, and will never compromise the safety of our customers and crew,” said Emirates.
Emirates’ president Sir Tim Clark told The Times MH17 “changed everything” and it was “very nearly in European airspace”.
Tim Clark said he thought other airlines would follow.
He predicted the airline industry would start to look at how it assessed the danger of flying over conflict zones.
Tim Clark said he was “not comfortable” with the situation in Iraq, as fighting in the country intensifies.
The MH17 disaster is largely attributed to a missile fired on the ground in Ukraine by pro-Russian rebels, although Russia has blamed the Ukrainian government.
Emirates’ president told The Times greater intelligence from the government about the safety of airspace would be welcome.