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Israel-Iran tensions may send fares of Europe flights soaring | India News – Times of India

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NEW DELHI: Your flying time to and from Europe and UK will increase by anywhere upto an hour, likely sending airfares northward too.
Air India, Vistara and foreign airlines have started avoiding overflying Iranian airspace due to the looming threat of Iran attacking Israel, which US President Joe Biden expects may happen “sooner than later”. IndiGo, whose daily service between Mumbai/Delhi and Istanbul is operated on Turkish Airlines wet-lease aircraft, is also taking an alternative route.
AI’s Delhi-Tel Aviv flight operated Saturday and the airline is watching the station to decide in real-time whether to continue the four-times-a-week flight, say sources.AI had suspended this route after the Oct 7 attack on Israel and resumed them on March 3. India advised its citizens on Friday not to travel to Iran or Israel till further notice.
Air India Flight 161, for instance, took off from Delhi at 4.30 am on Saturday but did not overfly Iran; instead, it took another route to London – instead of the usual India-Pakistan-Iran-Turkey-Black Sea route to Europe, the Boeing 787 Dreamliner followed a northern flight path. Thanks to AI still overflying Russia, this option is available to the airline for flights between Europe/UK and its main bases of Delhi and Mumbai. AI 161 had overflown Iran on Friday.
An Air India spokesperson said: “We are closely monitoring the developing situation in the Middle East. Presently, our aircraft will operate on alternate flight paths to and from India – according top priority to the safety of our passengers and crew.”
Lufthansa’s Frankfurt-Mumbai Friday flight took the Greece-Mediterranean Sea-Saudi Arabia-Persian Gulf-Arabian Sea route to Mumbai. Earlier it would take the Black Sea-Iran-Pakistan route to Mumbai. A spokesperson for German carrier told TOI: “We have temporarily stopped overflying Iranian airspace till April 18. Security is our number one priority.”
A Vistara spokesperson said: “Due to the current situation affecting parts of the Middle East, we are making changes to flight paths of some of our flights. Contingency routes, which are kept available to ensure operational continuity during such eventualities, are being used instead. This may result in longer flight times on certain routes and associated delays. The situation is being monitored closely and further changes will be made if required.” Vistara operates between Delhi/Mumbai and London, Frankfurt and Paris.
Increased geopolitical tensions have added to no-fly zones. Commercial airliners avoid Afghanistan ever since the country was taken over by the Taliban; Russia’s war in Ukraine has made both the countries no-overflying zones for most Western airlines; US carriers have been avoiding Iran for some time now. The conflict zone lies on the crucial West-East route.

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