IndiGo flight enters Pakistan airspace amid bad weather, returns safely

The Indian airline said on Sunday that the Indigo flight from Amritsar to Ahmedabad entered Pakistani airspace due to bad weather and climbed into Gujranwala before returning to Indian airspace safely.

The company said in a statement that Indigo Flight 6E-645 had to divert over Atari into Pakistani airspace due to bad weather on Saturday.

It added, “The derailment was well coordinated with Pakistan by Amritsar ATC over the phone. The crew was in constant contact with Pakistan on R/T and the flight landed in Ahmedabad safely after the deflection.”

Earlier, Dawn newspaper reported that the Indigo plane at a ground speed of 454 knots entered north of Lahore at around 7:30 pm on Saturday and returned to India at 8:01 pm.

Quoting a senior official of the Pakistan Civil Aviation Authority, the paper said it is not strange as it is internationally permitted in bad weather conditions.

In May, a Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) plane entered Indian airspace and stayed there for nearly 10 minutes due to heavy rains in Pakistan.

Flight PK248 was returning from Muscat on May 4 and was attempting to land at Allama Iqbal International Airport, Lahore. But heavy rain made it difficult for the pilot to land the Boeing 777.

Meanwhile, many flights were diverted and delayed in Pakistan due to poor visibility at the airports.

A spokesperson for the Civil Aviation Authority said it had extended the weather warning for Lahore until 11:30 pm on Saturday as visibility at Allama Iqbal International Airport was 5,000 metres.

A number of Lahore-bound flights were diverted to Islamabad due to poor visibility.

Rain accompanied by strong winds and thunderstorms hit parts of Pakistan on Saturday evening. Local media reported that the worst affected areas were three neighboring districts of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, where some 29 people were killed.

First published: June 11, 2023 | 7:33 PM ist