Flights to northern India resume

However, flights to and from Pakistan are postponed as its airspace remains closed


Malaysia Airlines Bhd’s and AirAsia Group Bhd’s flight operations to northern India remain undisrupted, while Malindo Airways Sdn Bhd has resumed its flights to Amritsar following heightened tensions in the India-Pakistan airspace.

Malindo Air, however, had to postpone its flights to and from Lahore as the Pakistan airspace remains closed.

Its CEO Chandran Rama Muthy told The Malaysian Reserve (TMR) that the airlines are complying with the Notice to Airmen issued by the respective authorities and its own risk assessment on the current situation in both countries.

“As of now, the flight operations to India have resumed, and while to Pakistan, (it) remains closed,” he said when contacted yesterday.

All affected passengers have been notified and given alternative options either to reschedule their flights, or cancel and have their tickets refunded.

Malaysia Airlines’ travel advisory stated that it is not currently flying over the affected airspace, and it is avoiding the Pakistan and northern Indian airspace for flights to and from Europe until further notice.

“All our flight routings do not fly over the conflicted area, so there are no disruptions,” Malaysia Airlines CEO Capt Izham Ismail (picture) told TMR yesterday.

“However, the only flight that required rerouting was the flight to London’s Heathrow Airport, which we had done last week,” he said, adding that the rerouting would only lead to 10-15 minutes of additional flight time.

As for AirAsia, the low-cost airline does not operate flights over Pakistan airspace.

Deputy group CEO Bo Lingam maintains that the airline is closely monitoring the situation to gauge for any impact towards its services. “At this time, all flights are operating as scheduled,” he said.

On Wednesday, it was reported that the Pakistan Civil Aviation Authority closed the airspace over the country to all commercial aircraft, following an escalation of tensions with India in the wake of a suicide bombing attack in Pulwama, India.

India also followed suit by closing several northern airports for a day, but all eight airports across north India have resumed normal operations.

Separately, Bernama reported Transport Minister Anthony Loke as saying that all Malaysian aircraft were told to avoid the affected airspace to ensure passenger safety.