Civil Aviation Minister Hardeep Singh Puri on Thursday informed Parliament that 20 flights of Indian airline companies had been affected by the decision to avoid parts of Iranian airspace amid tensions between Washington and Tehran, PTI reported.
On June 22, the Directorate General of Civil Aviation had said that all Indian airlines would avoid flying over the Iranian airspace after Iran shot down a high-altitude US military drone and sparked concerns about a serious threat to the safety of commercial airlines.
In response to a question, Puri said in the Lok Sabha that nine flights each of Air India and Air India Express and two of IndiGo have been affected. “The said rerouting has resulted in increase in the operating cost of Air India Express by Rs 22 lakh [approximately] every day and that of IndiGo by Rs 2 lakhs [approximately] per day,” Puri was quoted as saying by the news agency. “This rerouting of Air India flights has resulted in an increase in the operating cost by Rs 13 lakh [approximately] per day as the flying time has increased by approximately 15 minutes,” he added.
On June 20, American aviation regulator the Federal Aviation Administration had issued a notice to Airmen that barred American carriers from the Strait of Hormuz and the Gulf of Oman until further notice. The FAA had warned of a “potential for miscalculation or misidentification” in the region after Iran brought down the US spy drone.
While Iran had claimed the US had violated its airspace, America insisted its drone had been shot down over international waters.