New Delhi, Feb 28 (IANS) The closure of Pakistan air space resulted in cancellation of 24 international flights to and from the national capital’s Indira Gandhi International (IGI) Airport on Thursday.
According to reports, Pakistan has banned Indian aircraft from using its airspace and Pakistan’s Air Traffic Control (ATC) has banned flying of any aircraft below 32,000 feet.
The air space restriction by Pakistan impacted traffic at the IGI Airport with 24 international cancellations — 12 departures and 12 arrivals.
On Wednesday, the restriction had resulted in cancellation of 15 flights — 8 departures and 7 arrivals, in addition to 2 diversions.
The development comes a day after the IAF chased away intruding Pakistani fighter jets in the J&K’s Nowshera sector.
On their part, airlines like Lufthansa and Air India, however, said the restriction would not have any major impact on operations.
A Lufthansa Group official here said: “With immediate effect, Pakistan has closed its airspace due to the current dispute with India. In addition to our routes to India, connections to Bangkok and Singapore are also affected. We are already preparing adjusted routings and will increase the amount of additional fuel in the event of delays.
“Some traffic rights for the new routing must also be secured. Overall, it is to be expected that there will be hardly any major impact on flight operations.”
A Jet Airways spokesperson said that the airline has decided to waive off reissue or refund penalties on confirmed tickets issued on or before February 26, 2019, valid for travel between February 26, 2019 and March 31, 2019 due to closure of certain airports in north India on February 27.
The waiver will be provided for flights into and out of Dehradun, Amritsar, Chandigarh, Srinagar and Leh.
“The company will also waive off date change, flight change, fare difference, if any, and/or re-routing penalties,” the spokesperson said in a statement.
On Wednesday, national carrier Air India said inbound and outbound flights from the US and Europe for Delhi are being re-routed through Ahmedabad and Mumbai. “Flights from the US and Europe are being re-routed via Dubai and Sharjah and will land in India with a delay,” an airline statement said.
“No flights are cancelled. There will be only an increase in the flying time,” said Air India.