A day after the Director General of Civil Aviation (DGCA), in consultation with Indian carriers, announced that flights will not be flying over Iranian airspace, government-run Air India said only one flight to Mumbai will be affected by the diversion in the city. Other private airlines are in process of chalking out their diversions.
“The Jeddah-Mumbai flight will be delayed by half-an-hour due to the diversion. No other flight from Mumbai will be affected. We faced more problems when Pakistan air space was shut, almost all our flights to the west had to be diverted,” said Ashwani Lohani, Air India Chairman and managing director.
Air India, he added, flies to over 40 global destinations from Mumbai everyday. While no substantial effect will be noticed on flights to and from Mumbai, in Delhi a few inbound flights from Europe and USA will be delayed by 15-20 minutes.
On June 22, DGCA had announced that Indian carriers will avoid the Iranian airspace for passenger safety reasons after an RQ-4 Global Hawk drone, a US surveillance aircraft, was downed near Strait of Hormuz last week.
On June 20, the US Federation Aviation Administration released an emergency order barring American carriers to fly over Iran air space, including Strait of Hormuz and Gulf of Oman.
According to Indigo airlines officials, flight diversions were still being worked out.
Until Sunday, the British Airways, Lufthansa airlines, KLM Royal Dutch airlines, Qantas Airways Limited, Cathay Pacific, Singapore Airlines, Malaysia Airlines and Emirates had announced they were re-routing flights to avoid the Iranian airspace. A day after Indian airlines joined the international carriers in re-routing their flights, travel portals said no major difference was noticed in ticket bookings. Officials from travel website ClearTrip said no variation was recorded in flight fares to Middle East or western countries. “There was no impact on passengers’ bookings too,” an official said.