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March 16, 2019

Air India suspends Delhi-Birmingham flights, citing Pak closed airspace


March 16, 2019

LONDON: Air India in the UK confirmed on Friday that it would be suspending all flights to and from Birmingham Airport from Saturday due to “extraordinary circumstances” involving the closure of Pakistan’s airspace.

The Indian national carrier said that its daily flights to India from London Heathrow remain unaffected as the New Delhi and Amritsar services in and out of Birmingham will be grounded until further updates, The Hindustan Times reported.

“The flight cancellation is due to extraordinary circumstances, namely closure of Pakistan airspace and resultant impact which is beyond the control of Air India,” said Debashis Golder, Regional Manager – UK and Europe.

“In fact, besides Birmingham, many other flights in our network have been cancelled, combined or being operated with restricted payload, to reduce impact on passenger travel to the minimum,” he said.Pakistan airspace remains closed since Indian airstrikes allegedly on a Jaish-e-Mohammed training camp following a terror attack claimed by the outfit that killed 40 jawans in Pulwama district of Indian Held Kashmir last month.

Air India flies six times a week from Birmingham Airport – three times direct to Delhi and three times direct to Amritsar. The airport expressed its disappointment at the suspension of AI113 Delhi-Birmingham, AI114 Birmingham-Delhi, AI117 Delhi-Amritsar-Birmingham, and AI118 Birmingham-Amritsar-Delhi and said it was working with the airline to restore the schedule.

“The airport is very understanding of the current situation which means that Pakistan airspace cannot be overflown and the operational impact that this is having on Air India,” a Birmingham Airport spokesperson said.

“Passengers that are already booked on Air India flights from Birmingham will be contacted by the airline to re-book or to gain a refund. We are working closely with Air India to restore these flights to Birmingham Airport’s schedule as soon as possible,” the spokesperson said.

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