Amid rising tensions between India and Pakistan, the government has closed several airports close to the Line of Control (LoC) for civilian air traffic. According to government sources, flights to Jammu, Srinagar, Chandigarh, Leh, Amritsar, Pathankot, Dehradun and Dharamshala have been suspended till further notice.
Confirming the development Vistara said in a tweet this morning that "Due to airspace restrictions, flights to and from Amritsar, Srinagar, Chandigarh and Jammu are currently on hold".
Punjab: Passengers stranded as flight operations at Amritsar airport have been suspended. pic.twitter.com/fQEtEEqZZh- ANI (@ANI) February 27, 2019
"The civilian air traffic has been suspended temporarily in view of the emergency," an official of the Airport Authority of India told PTI. While the official did not specify the nature of the emergency, it is believed the step was taken in view of an IAF Mi-17 chopper crashing in Budgam district this morning.
Significantly, as per reports, the Pakistan Air Force today violated the Indian airspace in Jammu and Kashmir's Rajouri district before being pushed back by the IAF. And Maj Gen Asif Ghafoor, spokesperson, Pakistan Armed Forces, tweeted about the retaliatory strikes this morning. "In response to PAF strikes this morning as released by MoFA, IAF crossed LOC. PAF shot down two Indian aircrafts inside Pakistani airspace. One of the aircraft fell inside AJ&K while other fell inside IOK. One Indian pilot arrested by troops on ground while two in the area [sic]," he posted.
According to Flightradar24, a leading global flight tracking service offering real-time information about thousands of aircraft around the world, several international flights have been affected by this development. "International flights that transit between Indian and Pakistani airspace now being affected. Some flights returning to origin, while others appear to be seeking alternate routing," it tweeted a few minutes back.
With PTI inputs