International flights that transit between Indian and Pakistani airspace have been hit by the airport shutdowns in cities near the India-Pakistan border after tension escalated between the two countries.
Pakistan has temporarily shutdown airports of Islamabad, Lahore, Faisalabad, Sialkot and Multan.
Srinagar, Jammu and Leh airports were among five airports closed on Wednesday for civilian air traffic shortly after an IAF jet crashed in Kashmir’s Budgam district, officials said. The move to close the five airports comes amid escalation of tension between India and Pakistan after IAF carried out strikes on terror bases in Pakistan.
Airports at Chandigarh and Amritsar were among those closed, according to airline officials.
In Srinagar, an official of the Airports Authority of India told PTI, “The civilian air traffic has been suspended temporarily in view of the emergency”.
While the official did not specify the nature of the emergency, it is believed the step was taken in view of an IAF jet crashing in Budgam district this morning. Officials said they received instructions from air traffic controllers that the airports have been shut for civilian flights.
Some of the flights en route to Jammu, Leh and Srinagar airports have been diverted to their origin stations, they added. The flare up in the cross-LoC shelling, which was initiated by Pakistani troops in early hours of Wednesday, has also resulted in security forces and other establishments being put on a heightened alert.
“Due to operational reasons, the airspace at Amritsar has been closed for now. No commercial flights are coming to Amritsar, there is no base here, so flights are not even taking off from here,” confirmed Amritsar Airport Director A.P. Acharya to ANI.
Passengers were stranded as flight operations at Amritsar airport have been suspended.