New Delhi: A Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) Boeing 777 jet was closely monitored by the Indian Air Force when it could not land at the Lahore airport due to heavy rains last week and entered the Indian airspace.
PIA flight PK-248, operated by a 16-year-old Boeing 777 aircraft, took off from Muscat for Lahore’s Allama Iqbal International Airport on May 4, but had to cancel the landing due to bad weather.
According to sources, the situation that the aircraft was facing was reported to the Delhi Air Traffic Control (ATC), after which the ATC acted on the request to change the route of the aircraft due to the weather.
“The incident of the PIA aircraft flying over the Indian airspace due to bad weather was coordinated between Lahore and Delhi ATC, and the information was also being shared with the IAF,” the sources said.
“The Indian Air Force was aware and was monitoring the situation…”
The tracker on Flight Radar 24, a commercially available app for tracking aircraft movements around the world, showed that the PIA aircraft took off north of Bhikhiwind town in Punjab at 8:42 pm on May 4, soon after entering the Indian airspace.
The aircraft then flew over Tarn Taran city before turning southwest and finally re-entered Pakistani airspace and then landed in Multan.
Sources said that the IAF did not deploy the fighter jets during the incident.
PIA is allowed to operate selected flights, including those to Kuala Lumpur and Bangkok, through Indian airspace. Several Indian airlines also operate daily flights to the western countries in Pakistani airspace.