Indian carriers incur higher flying costs to Europe, America due to closure of Afghan airspace

·2-min read
Representative Image
Representative Image

New Delhi [India], September 9 (ANI): Indian carriers flying to Europe and America are incurring additional costs on account of 40 minutes of extra flying due to closure of the airspace over Afghanistan post-Taliban takeover.

Due to the precarious security situation in Afghanistan, the Indian government has advised its carriers to avoid airspace over the country.

"We (Indian carriers) are taking a longer route for now and even foreign carriers are avoiding the airspace. We are currently monitoring the situation," said Civil Aviation Minister Jyotiraditya Scindia.

After the Taliban took over the reins in Afghanistan, the new rulers banned the movement of commercial aircraft over its airspace forcing Indian and foreign carriers to take a longer route over Iran and Gulf countries.

National carrier Air India and Vistara usually use Afghanistan airspace to fly to the US and European countries, but flight time of Indian airlines has increased by up to 40 minutes for two-way amounting to an additional cost of up to Rs 3 lakh depending on the type of the aircraft.

The two wide-body aircraft used by Air India and Vistara airlines to fly to US and European markets include Boeing 787 and Boeing-777 while Vistara uses only B-787).

"The aviation turbine fuel consumption by a Boeing B-777-300ER is about 7,500 kilogram per hour, which means 5,000 kilograms in 40 minutes of flight operation. Similarly, for Boeing B-787-8, the average ATF consumption is about 4,900 kilograms per hour and that means 3,268 kilograms of fuel consumption for 40 minutes of flight operations," a senior Boeing commander told ANI.

As per the Indian Oil Corporation Limited (IOCL) the major supplier of ATF to the airlines, "The ATF prices for Indian Airlines plying on International routes ranges between USD 671.20 - 679.56 at Mumbai and Delhi airport respectively."

The last commercial flight out of Kabul airport was on August 15, 2021, when an Air India flight flew out Indian citizens out of the war-ravaged country. Currently, as per sources, there is no plan to allow commercial flights to the country. (ANI)

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