Srinagar: The operation of flights to and from eleven airports, including Leh, Jammu, Srinagar, Pathankot, Chandigarh, Amritsar and Dharamshala, have been suspended in the wake of the escalating tension between India and Pakistan after the Indian Air Force (IAF) shot down Pakistan Air Force’s (PAF) F-16 in Lam Valley, Nowshera on Wednesday.
Meanwhile, the flight operations at Dehradun, Shimla, Bhuntar and Gagal airports have also been temporarily suspended. Earlier in the day, three PAF jets violated the Indian air space and entered border areas Jammu and Kashmir’s Poonch and Nowshera sectors but were pushed back by Indian aircraft. An official of the Airports Authority of India in Srinagar, reportedly said, “The civilian air traffic has been suspended temporarily in view of the emergency”. The official, however, did not specify the nature of the emergency.
“Due to operational reasons the airspace at Amritsar has been closed for now. No commercial flights are coming to Amritsar, there is no base here, so flights are not even taking off from here,” AP Acharya, Amritsar Airport Director, told news agency ANI.
Check the latest flight status updates here:
An Air India official was quoted by news agency ANI as saying, “Air India avoiding route of Pakistan air space with immediate effect. India use Pakistan airspace for flights to Gulf countries, Europe and USA.”
Domestic airline Vistara tweeted on Wednesday that the flights to and from Amritsar, Srinagar, Chandigarh and Jammu are currently on hold due to airspace restrictions. Customers were requested to check the status of the flight before coming to the airport. In another tweet, Vistara said: “Due to air space restrictions, flights UK611 (Delhi-Sringar-Jammu), UK612 (Jammu-Srinagar-Delhi), UK735 (Mumbai-Amritsar), UK736 (Amritsar-Mumbai), UK976 (Delhi-Amritsar) and UK707 (Amritsar-Delhi) stand cancelled for today. Please stay tuned for the updates. Thank you.”
GoAirlines India tweeted, “Please note due to airspace restrictions, flights to and from Srinagar, Leh, Chandigarh and Jammu are currently on hold. Passengers are requested to check GoAir flight status: https://t.co/rGDDlTgiyz or SMS G8 <space> FlightNo to 57333.”
SpiceJet tweeted, “Due to airspace restriction, flights to/from Srinagar (SXR), Jammu (IXJ), Adampur (AIP) and Amritsar (ATQ) are affected. Passengers are requested to keep a check on their flight status via https://t.co/NvhsCyQeoc.”
Earlier on Tuesday, 12 Mirage 2000 aircraft of the Indian Air Force struck Jaish-e-Mohammed’s biggest terror camp at Balakot in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province of Pakistan. Meanwhile, on Wednesday, the IAF jet crashed in Naslapur area of Budgam district in Jammu and Kashmir. Reports stated that a pilot and co-pilot have been killed in the mishap that took place in an open field near Garend Kalaan village at 10.05 AM. Eye-witnesses alleged that a civilian was also killed in the crash.
The flare-up in the cross-LoC shelling, which was initiated by Pakistani troops in early hours of Wednesday, has also resulted in security forces and other establishments being put on a heightened alert.
(With Agency inputs)