U.S. DOT fines Emirates Airline $400,000 for operating JetBlue-codeshared flights over Iran

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On 1 October, the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) fined Emirates Airline $400,000 (€340,712) for operating flights carrying the JetBlue Airways code in airspace in which the  Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) prohibited U.S. operators from flying. The airline was ordered to cease and desist from future similar violations.

The Department granted Emirates economic licensing authority to display JetBlue Airways’ designator code (B6) on flights operated by Emirates to and from the United States so long as Emirates does not permit the JetBlue code to be carried in airspace in which the FAA prohibits U.S. operators and airmen from flying.

An investigation by the Department’s Office of Aviation Consumer Protection found that for 19 days in July 2019, Emirates operated flights carrying the B6 code over parts of Iranian airspace despite the FAA issuing a Notice to Airmen prohibiting U.S. airmen and operators from flying in that region. FAA issued the NOTAM due to heightened military activities and increased political tensions in the region that presented a risk to U.S. civil aviation operations and carried the potential for miscalculation or misidentification. By carrying the B6 code on flights in airspace prohibited by the FAA, Emirates violated the conditions of its authority to operate and engaged in passenger operations to and from the United States without proper DOT authority.

Of this total amount, $200,000 shall be due and payable within 120 days of the issuance date of this order. The remaining $200,000 shall become due and payable if, within one year of the issuance date of this order, Emirates violates this order’s cease and desist or payment provisions, in which case the entire unpaid amount shall become due and payable immediately and Emirates may be subject to additional enforcement action for failure to comply with this order.

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