NEW DELHI: Indian Air Force fighter jets forced a Georgian cargo plane flying from Karachi to New Delhi to land in Jaipur on Friday after it allegedly violated Indian airspace.
The An-12 aircraft was intercepted by two Sukhoi Su-30 fighter jets after it deviated from its scheduled flight path, the Indian Air Force (IAF) said.
“The aircraft did not follow the authorised Air Traffic Services route and was not responding to radio calls from Indian controlling agencies,” the IAF said in a statement. “The aircraft was shadowed and forced to land at Jaipur for necessary investigation.”
Hundreds of commercial and cargo flights have been affected by continuing tensions between India and Pakistan after their tit-for-tat air strikes in February.
Restrictions over Pakistani airspace have forced international airlines, including those from India, to take costly and lengthy detours.
The air strikes followed a suicide attack in India-held Kashmir that killed 40 Indian soldiers and ignited fears of an all-out conflict.
But a crisis was averted after Pakistan returned an Indian pilot who was captured after his jet was shot down.
Sources at the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) told Dawn that they were not officially informed by any such happening in India by the neighbouring country’s authorities, reports our staff reporter. The sources also wondered about information received through media about the details of the “Georgian cargo plane.”
“Nothing has come from India through official channel. The CAA is only aware of the details which are shared on the media,” said the sources.
Published in Dawn, May 11th, 2019