BA reroutes to avoid Afghan air spaceBack to Forum
I’ve been looking at the route maps for Delhi-London flights, and it’s interesting to see how different airlines are dealing with the regional airspace issues.
BA is actually flying southwest from Delhi, and then turning northwest after reaching the Arabian Sea. In the process they are avoiding Pakistan, Afghanistan and Iran. They fly over Oman, Saudi Arabia, Jordan & Egypt to get to the Mediterranean, and then up through Greece etc to reach London. That’s a pretty long route and is adding 1-2 hours to the flying time! They must be bleeding badly, especially with fuel prices being what they are. I wonder why they are avoiding Pakistan as there aren’t any issues there.
AI on the other hand flies directly northwest from Delhi over Pakistan, Iran, Turkey, then across the Black Sea to Romania, Hungary and Germany to reach the UK. They save about 1 1/2 hours vs BA.
This route was earlier affected by diversions to avoid Belarus and Ukraine (post the MH incident) and the flying time is getting longer and longer. Never a dull day in the airline business!3 Sep 2021
B777 pilot Charles Price shows his southerly flight routing for LHR-BKK-LHR
It’s a long one tonight, an extended routing from LHR to BKK, it’s going to take the #B777 -300 G-STBL 13hrs 17mins to cover the 6166nm, flying over Italy, Greece, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, India and across the Bay of Bengal to Thailand. Follow BA3599 on @flightradar24 😃👍🏻 pic.twitter.com/22XCSMWVEk
— Charles Price (@ChuckIOM) August 18, 2021
It’s time for the return sector, BKK-LHR as a freighter service tonight being operated by the #B777 -300 series G-STBD.
It’s going to take 12hrs 19mins to cover the 6020nm, climbing up to 34000 ft. If you want to follow BA3598, we will be on @flightradar24 👍🏻🛫 pic.twitter.com/aRVKDJ5BtN
— Charles Price (@ChuckIOM) August 21, 20214 Sep 2021
I may be completely wrong, but could this be because of the EU/UK disagreement with Belarus and the ban Belarus has on EU/UK flights in their airspace?
Even if the northern option did not actually overfly Belarus, it may be a bit close for comfort.
Only a guess though.4 Sep 2021
There is more to it than safety. No one in their right minds would go over Afghanistan these days, but there is a lot of politics at play in the selection of routes. Some airlines have re-routed via Iran (Lufthansa, Air India to name a couple) and their flight durations haven’t been affected too badly. BA won’t fly over Iran, so they have no choice but to take a much longer route. Again, the decision not to fly over Belarus is for political rather than safety reasons.
The governments play their games, and airlines and passengers suffer.6 Sep 2021
Independent running a piece this evening re BA’s Delhi-London flights taking that longer routing which adds to journey time.6 Sep 2021
The route has changed again! Now across Pakistan, then Afghanistan’s Wakhan Corridor into Tajikstan and over Central Asia, Russia and Latvia to the UK. Still a bit of a wriggle to avoid Belarus. The flight times are almost back to normal.9 Sep 2021
Aviation writer Andreas Spaeth returned SIN-FRA last night with SIA.
His flight also took a southerly routing which added to flight time.
Very unusual southerly route on @SingaporeAir turning left over Persian Gulf and then via Egypt to Europe. They do this both ways, unlike @lufthansa and others adding an hour flight time #avgeek pic.twitter.com/2nn1hUVFYv
— Andreas Spaeth (@SpaethFlies) September 13, 202113 Sep 2021