With the authorities declaring Afghanistan airspace “uncontrolled” and shutting the Kabul airport, Air India on Monday cancelled its Delhi-Kabul-Delhi flight, which was scheduled to operate. The airline also diverted its two aircrafts coming to Delhi from the US toward Sharjah in the UAE for the same reason.
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Air India officials said it was the only commercial flight scheduled to operate between India and Afghanistan on Monday, and Air India was the only carrier that had been operating flights between the two countries.
No flights can operate from the Kabul airport now as the airspace had been shut. An Air India aircraft that was to fly to Afghanistan to bring out people would no longer be able to go there too. “The airspace is closed. How any airline can operate? We were not able to operate our 12:30 pm flight to Kabul,” said a senior airline official.
On Sunday, Air India brought back 129 passengers on a return flight from Kabul to Delhi, as Taliban forces entered the national capital of Afghanistan and waited for “peaceful transfer” of power.
The airline’s San Francisco-Delhi flight and Chicago-Delhi flight were diverted towards Sharjah today and both flights would land in Sharjah for re-fuelling purposes. The flights would then leave for Delhi again avoiding the Afghan airspace.
FlightRadar24, flight tracking website, tweeted, “An Air India flight from Chicago to Delhi had changed course and exited Afghanistan’s airspace shortly after entering, while a Terra Avia flight from Baku to Delhi was also changing course.”
-PTC News with inputs from agencies