Friday, July 12, 2019

Avoiding Iranian airspace costs three Indian airlines Rs 37 lakh more daily

New Delhi: Three airlines — Air India, Air India Express and IndiGo — are incurring a combined Rs 37 lakh every day in additional operational expenditure due to rerouting that avoids part of Iranian airspace, Minister of State for Civil Aviation (Independent Charge) Hardeep Singh Puri informed Parliament on Thursday. The rerouting primarily affects flights to destinations in West Asia, Europe, US, Turkey, etc.
Following an advisory by the US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) on June 20 prohibiting US-registered planes from flying over part of Iranian airspace, Indian carriers in consultation with the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) had decided to avoid flying in the affected portions of the airspace. On June 19, the Iranian Revolutionary Guard had shot down a US surveillance drone over the Strait of Hormuz that added to the tension between the two countries.
Responding to a question in the Lok Sabha, Puri said nine flights a day each of Air India and Air India Express were rerouted as a result of the decision, adding Rs 13 lakh and Rs 22 lakh every day, respectively to their operational expenditure. India’s largest domestic carrier IndiGo has rerouted two flights a day adding Rs 2 lakh per day to its expenses.
Various global airlines that overfly the gulf region to fly either eastward or westward had also said they would reroute to avoid the tensed region. These include Malaysian Airlines, Singapore Airlines, Lufthansa, KLM, British Airways, Qantas. Gulf-based carriers such as Abu Dhabi-based Etihad and Dubai-based Emirates also decided to reroute their flights to avoid possible areas of conflict.
12/07/19 Pranav Mukul/Indian Express

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