Royal Jordanian has decided to avoid Syrian airspace altogether due to security concerns:

Jordan’s national carrier Royal Jordanian has stopped flying over Syrian airspace for security reasons, the airline’s head said on Sunday.


The airline, a leading regional carrier, said the move would primarily affect Beirut, a major destination, with a route via Egyptian airspace and over the Mediterranean making a longer journey of its four daily flights.

Well to be precise, the new route takes you over Israel, through the Gaza Strip into Egyptian airspace over the Mediterranean as the plane swoops into Beirut. FlightAware provides the clear mapping of the new (and longer) route:

RJ New Flight to Beirut Over Israel, Gaza and Egypt

Royal Jordanian Stops Flying Over Syria – Beirut Flight Now Goes Through Israel/Gaza/Egypt

The previous path through Syria meant that a flight to Beirut from Amman aboard Royal Jordanian took 50 minutes. The new path adds about an hour to the flight. The return flight seems to go deeper into the Sinai Peninsula and towards the southern tip of Israel before rounding back up north towards Amman.

Update: Gulf Airlines Skip Syrian Airspace

Thanks to chahe’s comment below, I’ve investigated the matter further and it appears that other Arab Gulf airlines also skip Syrian airspace including Saudi Arabian Airlines, Emirates and Qatar Airways. Qatar Airways seemed to have changed their route on February 27, 2013, having traveled the day before through Syria. Emirates changed its Beirut route on February 25, 2013 and it appears Saudi Arabian Airlines has been doing it for some time (at least since November 4, 2012). All these changes have added an hour to what usually is a 3-hour flight.

Anyone know of any other airlines that have changed their flight paths to Beirut in order to avoid Syria?