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Several of the world's biggest airlines have said they're now avoiding airspace over tense areas near Ukraine's eastern border with Russia. Additionally, the Federal Aviation Administration says U.S. carriers with flights over the region have voluntarily agreed to avoid it.

Elsewhere, Lufthansa, Europe's biggest carrier, is among those revamping plans for flights over Ukraine.

"Up to now there has been no closure of Ukrainian airspace. However, Lufthansa has decided to fly a wide detour around east Ukrainian airspace with immediate effect," the German carrier says in a statement to USA TODAY. "The safety of our passengers is our top priority.

"A total of four flights are affected today. Presently no restrictions apply to the Lufthansa destinations Kiev and Odessa."

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Dutch carrier KLM says it also has decided to keep its flights from flying over Ukraine following the incident Thursday with Flight MH17.

"It is with great regret that KLM has learnt about the possible incident with Flight MH17," KLM says in a statement to USA TODAY. "As a precautionary measure KLM avoids flying over the concerned territory."

Air France and Russian carrier Aeroflot are among others that have said they'll take similar measures, according to media reports coming out of Europe. Dubai-based carrier Emirates suspended its service to the Ukrainian capital of Kiev.

There are few flights on U.S. carriers that overfly trouble spots in Ukraine or others in Asia or the Middle East. Still, the FAA says those that fly near Ukraine have "voluntarily agreed not operate in the airspace near the Russian-Ukraine border."

The agency adds it "is monitoring the situation to determine whether further guidance is necessary."

Earlier on Thursday, Delta said that even with it's limited presence in the region, it would move to avoid Ukraine altogether.

All U.S. carriers are obliged to follow any prohibitions issued by the FAA, which in April moved to bar U.S. airlines from flying over Crimea — though that was based on concerns about air traffic control rather than military action.

Still, there is precedent for airlines to voluntarily avoid areas that concern them, says Robert Mann, an aviation analyst based in Port Washington, N.Y.

Mann recalls his time during the 1990s as an executive at Tower Air, a now-defunct carrier that was based at New York's John F. Kennedy International Airport.

"We operated from Amsterdam to Mumbai and Delhi," Mann says. "That was during a period of time when Iran was a no-fly zone for company purposes."

There was no FAA ban, but "it was the judgment of the company … that it just wasn't a good place to be. We chose to fly around it, and that was that."

Tower Air was willing to do so even though flying around Iran meant that its flights took longer and burned more fuel.

But during the Gulf War, Tower Air had a different conclusion on flying to Israel, "continuing to operate to Tel Aviv when everybody else had abandoned it," Mann says.

"It's situational," Mann adds. "If FAA prohibits it, you can't go. But you can decide not to go based on best judgment."

And following the Ukraine incident, Mann says: "I suspect that's what people will be doing."

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