Paris, Aug 4 (IANS) Air France will expand its no-flyover zone around North Korea after concerns a missile test crossed a plane’s flight path, the media reported.
On Thursday, the French flag carrier said the move was being taken as a “precautionary measure” after a North Korean intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) splashed down near the route being taken by Air France flight 293 from Tokyo to Paris on July 28, reports CNN.
“The information available to Air France at this stage indicates that the missile could have fallen into the sea at more than 100 km from the airplane’s trajectory. Even if this distance was proven, it would not question the safety of the flight,” airline spokesman Cedric Landais said.
The Air France flight, which had 332 people on board, passed just east of where the ICBM splashed down in the Sea of Japan roughly five to 10 minutes prior to the missile impacting the water, CNN reported.
At the time of the splashdown, the Air France flight was approximately 60 to 70 miles north of where the missile landed, according to a review of flight data.
In a statement on Thursday, Air France reiterated that the flight was “operated in accordance with the flight plan and without any reported incident”.
“At this stage, as a precautionary measure, the company has decided to expand the non-flyover area around North Korea, a country that it does not overfly.”
It also said that it “constantly analyses potentially dangerous flyover zones and adapts its flight plans accordingly”.
North Korea has ramped up its missile testing program this year and the missile launched on July 28 appeared to have the range to hit major US cities.