Sunday, June 23, 2019

Don’t fly over Iran’s troubled waters, India tells airlines

New Delhi: India on Saturday asked its airlines to avoid flying in the over-water area of Tehran (Iran) airspace with the Strait of Hormuz that connects Persian Gulf and Gulf of Oman at its heart. Iran’s territorial boundary extends up to 12 nautical miles (22.2 km) from its coastline to over-water and the shooting of a US military drone near the Strait of Hormuz has dramatically escalated tensions here.
While the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) advisory does not bar Indian airlines from transiting Iran over-land, the latter are seeing if that also can be avoided. The impact on Indian carriers will be limited to some of Air India’s flights on way back from the West (including Saudi Arabia, Europe and the US) to India and IndiGo’s Doha-Istanbul-Doha. AI’s west-bound flights will not be impacted.
"On the way back, they will need to reroute over Muscat, adding to flying time by 20-25 minutes. Similarly, Doha-Istanbul-Doha sector of IndiGo will be affected," said a source. Airlines have indicated to the regulator fares of affected flights could see a rise by Rs 500. The new detour comes on top of the already longer routes flights between the west and south Asia, with Delhi at its heart, are taking after Pakistan closed its airspace since February 27. While they may add to travel time, better safe than anything else.
23/06/19 Saurabh Sinha/Times of India

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