Monday, July 01, 2019

Iran airspace restriction adds 30 minutes to Kerala-Saudi Arabia flights

New Delhi: The flying time between Kerala and Saudi Arabia has increased by 30 minutes from last week as airlines operating these routes are taking a longer route to avoid the over-water area of Tehran (Iran) airspace with the Strait of Hormuz that connects Persian Gulf and Gulf of Oman at its heart.

“We are taking a 200-mile detour to avoid that area which has increased flying time of Kerala-Saudi Arabia flights by 30 minutes, leading to an extra fuel burn of 1 ton per flight on our Boeing 737s,” said a senior official of Air India Express’ (AI-Ex) that also flies between Kerala and Saudi cities like Riyadh and Dammam.
The budget airline has so far not hiked airfares due to the higher fuel burn and longer flying time. “As of now we are bearing this extra cost. But if this airspace restriction also goes on for a long period (like Pakistan airspace that has been closed for overflying since February 27), we will have no option but to pass on the cost to flyers,” the AI-Ex official added.
01/07/19 Saurabh Sinha/Times of India
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