The Indian Air Force (IAF) closely monitored a Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) Boeing 777 jetliner after it entered Indian airspace last week due to bad weather.
On May 4, the PIA flight had to abort its landing at Lahore's Allama Iqbal International Airport because of poor weather conditions and flew a detour due to bad weather conditions.
According to a report in NDTV, Delhi Air Traffic Control had processed a request for the Boeing to fly a detour and alerted the Indian Air Force Movement Liaison Unit, which was closely monitoring the situation. However, no fighter jets were scrambled during the incident.
Flight diverted to Multan after entering Indian airspace
The PIA jetliner entered Indian airspace at around 8:42 pm on May 4 and flew north of Bhikhiwind town in Punjab before flying over the city of Tarn Taran. The aircraft then turned southwest and eventually re-entered Pakistan airspace before it diverted to Multan and landed there.
Pakistani International Airlines is permitted to operate designated flights over Indian airspace, including flights to Kuala Lumpur and Bangkok, while several Indian airlines operate daily flights to the West across Pakistani airspace. The incident involving PIA flight PK-248 and the request to detour due to poor weather in the region is not unusual, and air traffic controllers always prioritise the safe operations of flights.
Scrambling fighter jets was not required: Indian Air Force
Reports said the Indian Air Force was monitoring the situation but did not scramble any fighter jets during the incident. Despite the proximity of Lahore and the India-Pakistan border, air traffic controllers always prioritise the safe operations of flights, and they alerted the Delhi Air Traffic Control of the unplanned route diversion by the PIA Boeing 777. The IAF was aware of the situation and had processed the request for the aircraft to fly a detour given the weather in the area.
(To receive our E-paper on WhatsApp daily, please click here. To receive it on Telegram, please click here. We permit sharing of the paper's PDF on WhatsApp and other social media platforms.)