Monday, January 06, 2020

Airlines keep fingers crossed as tensions escalate between US, Iran

Thiruvananthapuram: The escalating tensions in West Asia in the wake of US – Iran strife have the airlines industry worried as it anticipates closure of the Iranian air space or the air carriers avoiding the route over Iran altogether.

The industry believes that this could not only result in a spike in airfares especially for passengers bound for Europe and US and but also burn a hole in the airlines’ coffers. 

Currently, on an average around thousand passengers embark daily from Kerala airports to various destinations in Europe and US.

Though so far, the conflict has not affected these travellers, it is bound to change if the conflict escalates.

The airlines would be forced to review their services especially to and via West Asian countries.

Last time when US- Iran relations had soured in June following Iranian downing of an American drone near the Strait of Hormuz, the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) had directed the Indian carriers to avoid Iranian airspace for safety reasons.

A senior Air India Express official told TNIE, that current tensions had started to affect just crude oil prices and the corresponding increase in the cost of aviation turbine fuel (ATF) would naturally be passed on to passengers.
06/01/20  Dhinesh Kallungal/New Indian Express

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