Pakistan also stopped flights flying from Lahore, Multan, Faisalabad, Sialkot and Islamabad airports
India on Wednesday shut down airports in Leh, Jammu, Srinagar, Shimla, Dharamshala, Kullu, Ludhiana, Adampur, Bhatinda, Pathankot, Chandigarh, Amritsar and Dehradun for civilian traffic, The Hindu reported.
India’s action came after Pakistani F-16 jets allegedly violated Indian airspace in retaliation for Indian Air Force jets bombing a Jaish-e-Mohammed terror camp in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa on Tuesday.
All international flights exiting Indian airspace north of Mumbai are being re-routed through West Asia. The entire airspace north of Delhi has also been vacated, PTI reported quoting sources. An Air India official said that the airline has decided to avoid flying international airlines over Pakistani airspace.
“Due to operational reasons the airspace at Amritsar has been closed for now,” Amritsar airport director AP Acharya told ANI. “No commercial flights are coming to Amritsar, there is no base here, so flights are not even taking off from here.”
Meanwhile, Pakistan has shut down domestic and international flights operating from Lahore, Multan, Faisalabad, Sialkot and Islamabad airports, ANI reported.
The agency also cited sources as saying that international flights that transit between India and Pakistan are either returning to their origin or seeking alternative routes.
Reports said that Pakistani jets entered the border areas of Nowshera sector in Jammu and Kashmir’s Rajouri district on Wednesday morning, and dropped bombs. However, one of the three F-16s was shot down in Nowshera’s Lam Valley, three kilometres into Pakistani territory, India said.
Pakistan, on the other hand, has claimed that it shot down two Indian aircraft and arrested an India pilot. India has refuted these claims, PTI reported.
Separately, an Indian fighter plane has crashed in Budgam, but the cause of the crash is speculated to be technical failure.