India and Pakistan announce airspace closures due to military tensions around Jammu and Kashmir

    India and Pakistan announced (27/28-Feb-2019) a series of airspace closures, due to ongoing military tensions around the disputed border at Jammu and Kashmir. Details include:

    • The Pakistan Civil Aviation Authority (PCAA) initially temporarily suspended commercial flight operations in North Eastern & North Western regions of Pakistan. This was followed by the PCAA officially closing its airspace to commercial traffic until further notice and issuing a NOTAM to that effect. Announcements were made via the authority’s official Twitter account;
    • Airports Authority of India (AAI) issued a NOTAM halting commerical flight operations at Amritsar, Pathankot, Srinagar, Jammu, Leh, Shimla, Kangra and Kullu airports, citing “operational reasons”. The AAI subsequently announced flights at the airport have been permitted to resume;
    • India’s Minister of Commerce & Industry and Civil Aviation Suresh Prabhu, via his official Twitter account, reported he had communicated with AAI Member (Air Navigation Services) Vineet Gulati “in view of the current cross border situation”. Mr Prabhu said the Indian Government is “working out modalities so that the air passengers are least inconvenienced” and all stakeholders “were kept informed”.

    Flight suspensions, cancellations and diversions were announced by a number of airlines, including the following announcements by airlines based in Pakistan and India:

    • Pakistan International Airlines, via its official Twitter and Facebook account, reported all international and national flights were cancelled for 27-Feb-2018, due to closure of Pakistani airspace;
    • Airblue, via its official Twitter account, reported all major airports in Pakistan will remain closed until further notice;
    • Serene Air, via its official Twitter account, reported all flights for the 27-Feb-2019 have been cancelled;
    • Air India, via its official Twitter account, reported all flights to/from the US and Europe to Delhi are being re-routed through Ahmedabad and Mumbai. Other flights are being re-routed via Dubai and Sharjah and will be delayed. The carrier stated no flights are cancelled, but flying times will increase due to the airspace restrictions;
    • Jet Airways, via its official Twitter account, reported flight operations to/from Amritsar, Srinagar, Jammu & Leh have been suspended until further notice due to instructions from Delhi ATC. Some flights at Chandigarh and Dehradun have also been affected. The carrier’s flights to/from Amritsar, Chandigarh, Dehradun, Leh and Srinagar will operate as per schedule effective 28-Feb-2019, due to AAI’s decision to end its airspace closures;
    • SpiceJet, via its official Twitter account, reported its flights to/from Dehradun and Jaisalmer were affected by the airspace restrictions for northern India. The carrier also cancelled operations to/from Kabul until 28-Feb-2019;
    • IndiGo, via its official Twitter account, reported it halted flights to/from Srinagar, Jammu, Chandigarh, Amritsar and Dehradun. The carrier plans to resume operations at these airports from 28-Feb-2019;
    • GoAir, via its official Twitter account, reported it temporarily halted flights to/from Srinagar, Leh, Chandigarh and Jammu, with the intent to resume full oeprations to these airports on 28-Feb-2019;
    • Vistara, via its official Twitter account, reported flights to and from Amritsar, Srinagar, and Jammu were suspended on 27-Feb-2019, resulting in the cancellation of six services. The carrier plans to resume its regular schedule to Amritsar, Jammu, Srinagar, Chandigarh, and Leh as of 28-Feb-2019.