Air India Flights Can’t Operate To Kabul To Evacuate Citizens As Airspace Shuts Down

Air India Flights Can't Operate To Kabul To Evacuate Citizens As Airspace Shuts Down

New Delhi: As chaos prevails in the capital city of Afghanistan after the Taliban took over from the democratically elected government, it is learned that the evacuation process via commercial flights will be on a halt.

This has affected the Air India flight which was to take off at 12.30 PM IST on Monday, August 16.

Afghanistan closed its airspace for all the commercial flights on Monday, confirmed TOLONews. The air travel was suspended at Hamid Karzai International Airport in Kabul, the report from TOLONews further added.

Meanwhile, US forces are in charge at the airport and are helping in the evacuation of embassy staff and other civilians.

According to a Reuters report, all Americans in Afghanistan are expected to be evacuated in the next two to three days. For this, the US has approved another 6,000 troops to facilitate the evacuation process of Americans and Afghan citizens who were working for them from Kabul.

After Taliban forces took control over Afghanistan’s Presidential Palace in Kabul, major airlines were already rerouting their flights to avoid Afganistan Airspace.

Flights operating below 26,000 feet were prohibited in the Kabul Flight Information Region, which largely covers Afghanistan unless operating in and out of Hamid Karzai International Airport, said US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). 

Other countries’ airlines, including Canada, Britain, Germany and France, were also advised to maintain an altitude of at least 25,000 over Afganistan by Safe Airspace, an agency that alerts for aviation warnings.

Taiwan’s China Airlines will also adjust flight paths if needed in accordance with US and European Union Airspace instructions.

Afghanistan’s airspace is not being used by United Airlines, British Airways, and Virgin Atlantic. Emirates already suspended flights to Afghanistan’s capital, Kabul, from Monday until further official notice.

Such precautions are being taken as two deadly incidents involving Surface-To-Air Missiles shot at Airlines flying over Conflict Zones has occurred recently.

Ukraine International Airlines jet was downed by Iran’s Military in 2020, killing all 176 passengers and crew. Similarly, a Malaysia Airlines plane was shot down over Eastern Ukraine in 2014, killing all 298 people on board.

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