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  4. A pair of Lufthansa flights had to turn around, and others were canceled, to avoid flying over Azerbaijan after it launched an assault on a breakaway region

A pair of Lufthansa flights had to turn around, and others were canceled, to avoid flying over Azerbaijan after it launched an assault on a breakaway region

Pete Syme   

A pair of Lufthansa flights had to turn around, and others were canceled, to avoid flying over Azerbaijan after it launched an assault on a breakaway region
  • Two Lufthansa flights were diverted and others canceled on Tuesday.
  • A spokesperson told Insider the airline decided to avoid flying over Azerbaijan.

A pair of Lufthansa flights were forced to U-turn to avoid flying over Azerbaijan on Tuesday, as the country's military launched an assault on a breakaway region.

Flight LH716 departed Frankfurt, Germany for Tokyo at 2:42 p.m. on Tuesday. But data from Flightradar24 shows it had to turn back after around an hour.

The Boeing 747 had to circle over Germany for another hour as it burned fuel before landing back at Frankfurt three hours after it had left.

Another Lufthansa flight, LH648 from Frankfurt to Almaty in Kazakhstan, had taken off at 1:43 p.m. but also turned back to Germany after two hours, per Flightradar24.

The airline also cancelled several other flights to Asia on Tuesday, to destinations like Seoul, Beijing, and Shanghai.

Some reports on social media claimed the diversions were because Azerbaijan had closed down its airspace. A Lufthansa spokesperson told Insider this was not the case, but rather the airline "decided to not use the area."

The diversions coincided with the news that Azerbaijan was launching a military assault on a breakaway region of the country called Nagorno-Karabakh.

The enclave has 120,000 residents who are mostly ethnic Armenians, and is governed by the Republic of Artsakh, which isn't recognized by any United Nations members.

A blockade against the mountainous area began last December, prompting the International Association of Genocide Scholars to warn of the risk of genocide, CNN reported.

On Tuesday, Azerbaijan's government began an offensive against Nagorno-Karabakh, before announcing a ceasefire 24-hours later, saying the breakaway region's forces surrendered, per the BBC.




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