Following the recent test missile launch by North Korea, which was reportedly seen by at least passenger airlines, the speculation began on whether airline routes should be altered in order to avoid the possible risks. While the airlines themselves have different views on the issue, the United Nations aviation agency puts it bluntly – there is no point in changing the routes, as North Korea is too unpredictable.

Due to North Korean missile tests, some have already altered their flight routes earlier in 2017. For instance, Singapore airlines re-routed the flights between the United States and Asia in July 2017, the Jakarta Post reported. At the same time Air France also expanded its no-fly zone around North Korea, following an incident when one of its planes allegedly flew in a less than 100 km distance from the missile test in July 2017, the BBC reported. According to the news source, Lufthansa (LHAB) (LHA) is also one of the airlines avoiding North Korea and re-evaluating flight routes near the Sea of Japan daily.

However, after the latest missile test in the late November 2017 Cathay Pacific and Korean Air claimed they are not changing the flight routes. Cathay Pacific, which is one of the airlines whose passenger plane apparently has witnessed the re-entry of the North Korean missile, told the Business Insider that it informed other airlines and aviation authorities about the incident, but “at the moment, no one is changing any routes or operating parameters”.

Similarly, the United Nations aviation agency sees no point in creating a flight prohibition zone around North Korea, as the missile test launched by the states are unpredictable, therefore it is impossible to predict when or where the next test might take place, Reuters reports.

North Korea announced successfully launching its most powerful intercontinental ballistic missile on November 29, 2017. The Hwasong-15 ICBM has the greatest range of all previous North Korean missiles and is reportedly capable of reaching the US. The ICBM reached 4-4.5 thousand kilometers altitude, flew 950 kilometers distance and spent 53 minutes in air.