Minister of External Affairs Sushma Swaraj’s flight to Mauritius went incommunicado for 14 minutes on Saturday, the Airports Authority of Indian confirmed. They said that there had been no emergency on the aircraft, but did not explain why the flight could not be contacted during this time.
Swaraj’s flight from Thiruvananthapuram left at 2.08 pm on Saturday, and could not be reached between 4.44 pm and 4.58 pm, NDTV reported. Mauritius aviation authorities raised an alarm when the flight could not be contacted, though the normal waiting period for such an alarm is 30 minutes. Mauritius Air Traffic Control activated “INCERFA”, a code word for when there is uncertainty about the the safety of an aircraft and its occupants, The Hindu reported. They had done so because the plane was carrying a minister, reports said.
Swaraj made a brief stop at Mauritius on her way to South Africa to attend a BRICS meeting of foreign ministers. The meeting will be held on Monday. She was also checking on preparations for the World Hindi Conference, which will be held in Port Louis, Mauritius, in August, reports said.