North Korea missile 'seen by Cathay Pacific airline crew'

08 December, 2017, 02:09 | Author: Genevieve Gibbs
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The Hwasong-15 intercontinental ballistic missile demonstrated a greater range than other missiles North Korea has tested.

Fears of a North Korean missile accidentally obliterating a passenger plane during one of Kim Jong Un's unannounced, uncoordinated rocket launches prompted at least one airline to change its flight course this year, a spokesperson told Fox News on Thursday.

Singapore Airlines changed a flight route between South Korea and the U.S. earlier this year over fears about North Korean missile launches in the Asia-Pacific region, it has emerged.

The decision was reportedly made after the North fired a missile into the East Sea on July 28th.

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While Singapore Airlines have continued to avoid the area, a flight crew on a different airline last Wednesday reported seeing North Korea's latest ICBM launch.

Cathay Pacific said the crew of a flight from San Francisco to Hong Kong reported seeing what they thought was the missile re-entering Earth's atmosphere on November 29.

Civic Party's Tam said although Cathay Pacific claimed its nearest aircraft was several hundred miles away, or more than half an hour's flight, from the explosion, the threat cannot be ruled out, especially if North Korea does not announce its missile launches.

"There are no current routes that fly through a unsafe zone", said an Asiana Airlines official.

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Under the guidelines of the International Civil Aviation Organization-a United Nations agency that oversees air safety-nations launching threats to air safety must "issue risk advisories regarding any threats to the safety of civilian aircraft operating in their airspace".

Federal regulation from 1997 prohibits all USA airlines from flying over the Flight Information Region of Pyongyang.

Bloomberg reports two Korean Airline flights from the west coast of the United States also witnessed a flash from the launch.

Travelers who are concerned should know the chances of an airplane colliding with a missile are extremely low: One safety analyst estimates that it is less than a billion to one.

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