Lufthansa, Austrian extend Arbil flight suspension

BERLIN (Reuters) - Lufthansa and unit Austrian Airline have suspended flights to Arbil in northern Iraq until further notice, the airline said on Monday.

Lufthansa had on Friday halted flights to Arbil, the capital of the autonomous Kurdish region, due to safety reasons after the United States launched air strikes to halt the advance of Islamic State militants.

Lufthansa also said on Monday that the airlines within its group would continue to avoid Iraqi airspace on transit flights, such as on routes to the Middle East or Asia.

Before the suspensions, Austrian Airlines operated a daily flight from Vienna to Arbil while Lufthansa flew twice a week from Frankfurt.

(Reporting by Victoria Bryan; Editing by Kirsti Knolle)