Trendwatch: Airlines avoid Iran air space; Lower economic growth and trade disruptions in 2024 impact development; Dubai flights cancelled and diverted as heavy rainfall sweeps through UAE

Airlines avoid Iran air space

Airlines home-based in the Asia Pacific are rerouting their flights to Europe due to closed airspace in the Middle East following Iran’s recent air raids on Israel.

At the weekend, airlines in the UAE have either cancelled or rerouted flights due to closed or restricted airspace over Jordan, Israel, Lebanon, and Iraq.

All major Middle Eastern airlines reported rerouting flights, which lengthened journeys to European capitals and North America. They have also cancelled direct flights to Tel Aviv and neighbouring Amman, Jordan.


Lower economic growth and trade disruptions in 2024 impact development

  • UN Trade and Development (UNCTAD) warns of further growth deceleration in 2024, citing falling investments and subdued global trade dynamics.

  • The prospect of interest rate cuts could improve the fiscal outlook for governments and businesses, but monetary policy alone cannot solve all pressing global challenges.

  • Strategies to revive investment and trade, support full employment, and fair income distribution are crucial to driving robust growth and meeting SDGs.


Dubai flights cancelled and diverted as heavy rainfall sweeps through UAE

Flights in and out of Dubai are being affected by adverse weather conditions around the UAE, leading to delays, diversions and cancellations across 16 April and 17 April.

Thunder, lightning, hail and heavy rainfall have hit Dubai, with schools and government entities instructed to work from home. Citizens have been urged to stay inside where possible and only leave their homes “in cases of extreme necessity”.

The website for Dubai Aiport – one of the world’s busiest airports, which welcomed over 86 million passengers in 2023 – is currently showing that there are at least 20 cancelled flights on 16 April, with dozens more delayed. Affected destinations included cities around India and Pakistan, as well as Saudi Arabia and Manchester.


United States requests second USMCA Rapid Response Labor Mechanism Dispute Settlement Panel

United States Trade Representative Katherine Tai today announced that the United States has, for the second time, requested a Rapid Response Labor Mechanism (RRM) panel under the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA). The panel pertains to a labor dispute at a facility operated by Atento Servicios, S.A. de C.V. in the city of Pachuca de Soto, Hidalgo.

Today’s announcement follows a request the United States sent to Mexico on January 18, 2024 asking Mexico to review whether workers at Atento Servicios were being denied the rights to freedom of association and collective bargaining.


EU naval force warns paying ransoms could lead to more Somali hijackings

The EU Atalanta naval force which handles piracy operations in the Indian Ocean has warned that the decision last week by a Bangladeshi company to pay ransom to free its ship and crew could lead to further attacks on merchant shipping.

Ships sailing off the Somalian coasts were urged yesterday to maintain a heightened state of vigilance in light of the recent escalation in piracy threats with the European naval force adding that the conclusion of the monsoon period could further facilitate piracy activities in the region.


FBI opens probe into Baltimore bridge collapse

The FBI has opened a criminal investigation into the circumstances leading up to last month’s deadly collapse of the Francis Scott Key Bridge in Baltimore, a law-enforcement official said on Monday.

The probe is examining issues including whether the crew aboard the containership Dali failed to report any problems with the vessel before it left port, the person said. The investigation was reported earlier by the Washington Post.

A Federal Bureau of Investigation team consisting of more than a dozen agents boarded the ship on Monday morning. Agents are looking into whether the Dali had any previously unreported engine, steering or electrical issues before leaving Baltimore for a voyage to Sri Lanka, a Coast Guard official said. He said agents spoke with members of the ship’s crew.