Pakistan tension: Airport shutdowns affect worldwide flights

BREAKING NEWS: IAF's MiG 21 fighter jet crashes in J&K, 2 pilots, 1 civilian dead

BREAKING NEWS: IAF's MiG 21 fighter jet crashes in J&K, 2 pilots, 1 civilian dead

Heavy rush of passengers at air ticket counter near entrance of Jammu Airport following cancellation of flights on Wednesday. Speaking to the media, Minister of State for Civil Aviation Jayant Sinha said he did not know how many flights have been impacted by the temporary suspension of air operations, PTI reported.

Emirates, Qatar Airways, Etihad, flydubai, Gulf Air and SriLankan Airlines suspended services to Pakistan and flight tracking portals showed Singapore Airlines, British Airways and others were forced to reroute flights.

Tension between India and Pakistan escalated in the aftermath of Pulwama attack on February 14th in which over 40 Indian soldiers were left dead.

"The safety of our passengers and crew is of the utmost importance and will not be compromised".

Flight operations at Lahore, Multan, Faisalabad, Sialkot and Islamabad airports were suspended after the Pakistan Air Force (PAF) shot down two Indian aircraft inside Pakistani airspace earlier today and arrested an Indian pilot on ground.

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Apart from this, flights at Chandigadh, Dehradun and Dharamshala have also been suspended 'till further notice. The airlines said passengers will be offered full refunds but didn't elaborate on how long it would take to clear the backlog. "Further updates will be made available in due course", it added.

Meanwhile, Air Vistara tweeted that all flights from Jammu, Srinagar, Amritsar and Chandigarh are on hold due to the airspace restrictions.

The decision came after Pakistan said it had shot down two Indian Air Force planes in its airspace Wednesday, taking tensions between the South Asian rivals to risky new levels. Online portal Flightradar24 said worldwide airlines that usually transit between Indian and Pakistani airspace were forced to reroute, including flights by Singapore Airlines, Finnair, British Airways, Aeroflot, and Air India.

A spokesperson of Pakistan International Airlines (PIA), has said that Lahore to Oslo flight PK-751 and Islamabad to Manchester flight PK-701 have been stopped at airports.

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