Updated: January 8, 2020 8:11:06 pm
In the wake of the Ukrainian plane crash over Iran that killed all 176 people onboard and the rising tensions between Washington and Tehran in the Middle East, Air India decided to temporarily refrain from using Iranian airspace Wednesday. The decision is expected to cause a delay of 20-40 minutes for Air India flights flying to Western countries.
“In light of the tensions within the Iranian airspace a decision to temporarily reroute flights of Air India (AI) and Air India Express (AIX) overflying Iran has been taken. This may lead to increase in flying time by approximately 20 minutes for flights from Delhi and 30 to 40 minutes for flights from Mumbai,” airline’s spokesperson was quoted as saying by PTI.
PTI reported that aviation regulator Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) has asked Indian airlines to remain vigilant and take all precautions in the airspace over Iran, Iraq, Gulf of Oman and waters of Persian Gulf.
Major international airlines have rerouted or cancelled flights on Wednesday to avoid airspace over Iraq and Iran.
Meanwhile, the Indian Navy is monitoring the situation in the Gulf region; maintaining presence to ensure the security of India’s seaborne trade.
Here is a list of measures taken by carriers so far:
Germany’s Lufthansa cancelled its daily flight between Frankfurt and Tehran
Dubai-based Emirates Airline cancelled a return flight to Baghdad
United Arab Emirates airline flydubai cancelled a flight to Baghdad
France’s airline KLM Air France suspended flights over Iraqi and Iranian airspace.
Norwegian Air Shuttle said it was looking at alternative routes for its Dubai flights departing from Scandinavia later on Wednesday.
Vietnam Airlines has rerouted flights
Taiwan’s largest carrier China Airlines will not fly over either country.
Malaysia Airlines does not fly over Iraqi airspace and said it would avoid Iranian airspace.
Singapore Airlines said flights would be diverted from Iranian airspace.
Australia’s Qantas Airways Ltd adjusted routes to avoid both countries’ airspace, adding up to 50 minutes to Perth-London flights and requiring it to reduce passenger numbers to carry the necessary fuel.
Russia’s aviation authority told its air carriers to avoid flights in the airspace of Iraq, Iran, the Gulf and the Gulf of Oman.
Transport Canada said Air Canada was altering its routes.
(With inputs from Reuters)
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