The closure of Pakistan’s airspace on Feb 27 – after Pakistan Air Force (PAF) shot down two Indian jets – has affected international flights originating out of India and has caused major losses to the Indian national carrier, international sources reported.
Reports state that around 400 flights originating out of India daily are affected. Air India, which operated 33 weekly flights to the United States and 66 to Europe had to cut-down on operations and the carrier had to club many Europe and US-bound flights.
Air India flights from the US had to take a longer flight path, which extended their already long duration and significantly increased operating expenses.
“The AI Mumbai-New York-Mumbai flight, launched in December 2018, has been combined with the Mumbai-Newark-Mumbai flight for the duration between March 16 and May 31”, the airline tweeted.
Air India’s flight to Najaf from Delhi was also cancelled, along with flights to Madrid and Birmingham.
Islamabad took the decision to shut its airspace on February 27, leaving thousands of travellers stranded and forcing carriers to reroute flights, after an aerial dogfight between Pakistan and Indian air forces.
Flights between Asia and Europe were also disrupted, stranding thousands of passengers.