August 4, 2017 / 5:24 PM / a year ago

Lufthansa changes flight routes after latest North Korea missile testing

FRANKFURT (Reuters) - Airline Lufthansa said on Friday it had changed its flight routes to Japan because of North Korean missile tests.

FILE PHOTO: A plane of Germany's air carrier Lufthansa takes off at Fraport airport in Frankfurt, Germany, May 22, 2017. REUTERS/Kai Pfaffenbach/File Photo

Lufthansa Group, which owns Swiss, Lufthansa, and Lufthansa Cargo, had already been avoiding direct overflights of North Korean airspace for more than a year, the company said.

“As a result of the latest North Korean missile tests, Lufthansa Group has decided for now to change routings to and from Japan, purely as a precautionary measure,” the airline said, adding that changes to the flight time were negligible.

Air France-KLM said on Thursday it had expanded its no-fly zone over North Korea after one of its jets flew past the location where an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) splashed down 10 minutes later.

Air France’s flight 293, a Boeing 777 carrying 323 people from Tokyo to Paris, missed North Korea’s latest ICBM as it fell to earth on July 28 by about 100 km (60 miles), a spokesman for Air France-KLM said, citing flight data provided by Japan.

North Korea said a week ago that its latest ICBM test proved its ability to strike the U.S. mainland, drawing a sharp warning from President Donald Trump and a rebuke from China.

Reporting by Victoria Bryan; Writing by Maria Sheahan and Edward Taylor

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