Closure of Kabul airspace disrupts flight operations, prompts airlines to reroute services

The air space of Afghanistan has been declared uncontrolled and no flights can operate from Kabul airport, officials said.

This also means that no aircraft can also land there.

An Air India aircraft tasked to fly to Afghanistan to bring out people will no longer be able to go there too, sources have said. A NOTAM or notice to airmen has been issued to say Kabul airspace has been closed.

On account of this, Air India, which was supposed to operate a scheduled flight from Delhi-Kabul at 12.30 pm, could not operate.

“The airspace is closed. How any airline can operate? We were not able to operate our 12:30 pm flight to Kabul,” a source in Air India shared.

Kabul’s flight information region covers all of Afghanistan.

Air India flights coming from the US are likely to be re-routed since the Afghan airspace has been closed, sources said. Flights AI-126 (Chicago-New Delhi) and AI-174 (San Francisco-New Delhi) will have to re-routed to a Gulf nation to refuel, they said, adding Air India is also working on new routes for flights that will depart later from India to the US.

Air India operated a flight to Kabul Sunday, bringing back 129 passengers from there. It was expected to operate one flight every day, but the latest situation could see the plan canceled. “The events are changing very fast and we are responding to them as it happens,” a senior government official said.

The Afghanistan Civil Aviation Authority has instructed all transit aircraft to reroute, adding any transit through Kabul airspace would be uncontrolled.

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