Tuesday, March 12, 2019

Pakistan extended airspace closure: Air India reroutes US nonstops till April 30

New Delhi: Air India has rerouted its nonstop flight between Delhi and the US till April 30, 2019, due to the extended closure of Pakistan airspace for overflying. The Delhi-New York (JFK) and Delhi-Chicago flights will take a technical halt at Vienna where the aircraft will get refueled and get a change of crew. Similarly, the Delhi-Washington direct will be via Mumbai.

Pakistan had closed its airspace for overflying on February 27 and since then most flights between the west and south/southeast Asia, including Delhi, are taking a longer route — which means extra fuel burn and more crew requirement. “No one knows when Pakistan will open its airspace and airlines will take the pre February 27 routes. We have to make alternate arrangements and have done so till April 30,” said a senior AI official.
The Delhi-Vienna-JFK/Chicago flights will see crew alighting at Vienna and then operating the other leg of the flight next day. AI has also combined the Mumbai-JFK and Mumbai-Newark (EWR) flights till April 30. “While Delhi-US-Delhi flights need a technical halt, we can fly direct from Mumbai to the US with some payload penalty (less passengers and baggage to carry more fuel),” said the official.
12/03/19 Saurabh Sinha/Times of India