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US-Iran Escalation: Air India Flights To Be Rerouted To Avoid Iranian Airspace

The national carrier said that the decision was made keeping the safety of the passengers and crew members in mind following increasing political tensions

Air India

India's National carrier, Air India has announced on Wednesday that Air India and Air India Express flights will not be flying over Iranian airspace because of the ongoing political tensions in the region.

READ: Ukraine International Airlines Plane Crashes In Tehran; All 176 Aboard Dead

AI announces rerouting 

Dhananjay Kumar, the spokesperson of the airline announced on Wednesday afternoon that in order to ensure the safety of the passengers and crew members, AI and AI Express flights will be rerouted and will not fly over Iran. He also stated that the rerouting will lead to an increase in the flying time of 20 minutes departing from New Delhi and 30-40 minutes for flights departing from Mumbai.

The precautionary move comes after Iran fired a series of ballistic missiles at two military bases in Iraq that house American troops. A state-run news channel later claimed that the strikes killed “at least 80 terrorist U.S soldiers” and also damaged helicopters, drones, and other equipment at the Ain al-Asad airbase.

READ: India Issues Advisory To Avoid Travel To Iraq Amid US-Iran Tensions

A Kiev-bound Ukraine International Airlines Boeing 737 plane also crashed after takeoff from Tehran on Wednesday, killing all 176 people on board. The Ukrainian government has not stated any reason for the crash yet, with the embassy in Iran releasing a statement that read, "Information on the causes of the plane crash is being clarified by the commission. Any statements regarding the causes of the accident prior to the decision of said commission are not official."

Earlier on Wednesday, India's External Affairs Ministry advised the citizens to "avoid all non-essential travel to Iraq until further notification" and asked the citizens who are alreadly staying there to be alert while traveling internally. 

India's  aviation regulator, Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) also asked airlines to avoid Iran airspace. 

READ: 'All Is Well': Trump Insists After Iran Launches Multiple Missiles At US Airbases In Iraq

A number of international airlines, such as Air France, Emirates, Qantas, Malaysian Airlines, Lufthansa, Singapore Airlines, EVA Air, etc have decided to reroute their flights and avoid the airspace.

READ: India Advises Country's Carriers To Avoid Airspace Of Iran, Iraq And Gulf

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