Travel Alert March 2019: Air Space Over Pakistan and Part of India Restricted

If your travel plans may cross over certain areas of India and Pakistan — or perhaps you are traveling to or from those countries — your flight may be disrupted due to increasing tensions between Pakistan and India.

Travel Alert March 2019: Air Space Over Pakistan and Part of India Restricted

Thousands of flights were either delayed, diverted or canceled because the air space over the entire country of Pakistan was closed on Wednesday, February 27, 2019, as tensions with India escalated as a result of air strikes on each other which followed a suicide attack that killed 40 Indian police in the disputed Himalayan region of Kashmir — which is controlled by India — on Thursday, February 14, 2019.

Diversions required time because airlines needed to secure permission from China to fly over its air space in order to circumvent Pakistan, which resulted in inconvenience amongst thousands of travelers — many of whom were stranded at airports in locations such as Bangkok.

Flight Waivers, Delays and Cancellations

If your flight is affected by the tensions which are occurring in India and Pakistan, expect your flight to be delayed, diverted or canceled. Keep up to date on the latest information pertaining to the winter weather which may affect your travel plans.

You may be eligible for a waiver of a fee to change your itinerary.

Here are five airlines which have issued travel alerts, statements or announcements as a result of this situation:

  • United Airlines has issued travel alerts for Delhi and Mumbai for Friday, March 1, 2019 through Monday, March 4, 2019; and Monday, April 1, 2019 is the last day on which tickets must be reissued and rebooked travel must begin.
  • Thai Airways has announced that normal flight operations to Europe have resumed — but a link is provided just in case this situation changes.
  • Qatar Airways has announced that operations will resume to Karachi, Peshawar and Islamabad from Friday, March 1, 2019; and flights will operate as per schedule — but all other Qatar Airways destinations in Pakistan will remain closed. Customers traveling are advised to check their flight status.
  • Eva Air has issued this statement: “Due to the incident of India and Pakistan, the flights between Europe and Bangkok might be affected. Please kindly check the flight status for the latest information.”
  • KLM Royal Dutch Airlines has issued a travel alert for Pakistan in which flights towards various South East Asian destinations have been resumed via alternative routes and will NOT fly over Pakistan airspace. KLM will keep on monitoring the situation in the area.

Summary

Although the situation tends to be calming down, it could flare up again without warning.

Be sure to contact your airline or transportation provider for the latest information pertaining to your travels — if they are adversely affected — and please: travel safely.

Photograph ©2008 by Brian Cohen.

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