By Ashoke Raj
New Delhi [India], May 26 (ANI): After the interception of a Ryanair flight in Belarusian airspace by a state fighter jet, the Indian aviation regulatory body Director General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) on Wednesday advised all Indian airlines companies to ensure a fuel plan while flying through Belarusian airspace while informing that the airlines worldwide are avoiding overflying the particular airspace.
In an unprecedented incident, a Ryanair aircraft was intercepted via a state fighter jet in Belarusian airspace and was forced to land in Minsk, the capital of Belarus, the airlines informed on Sunday.
"Operators are requested to monitor the situation, as some airline operators have started re-routing their flights to avoid the airspace. Please ensure the fuel planning, should take into account the last moment re-route, in case overflying Belarus airspace," reads DGCA advisory to the Indian airlines.
Indian airlines including Air India primarily use Belarusian airspace for the flights connecting Europe, UK and North America.
"Belarus airspace is normal airspace except for the recent interception event with Ryanair. Avoiding Belarus airspace to the UK, Europe also provides extra time and fuel." a senior commercial pilot told ANI.
"The Vistara airline does not use Belarus airspace for the UK (London) flight," Vistara Spokesperson said.
On Sunday, Irish airline Ryanair said in a statement that its flight FR4978 from Athens to Vilnius was notified by Belarusian authorities of "a potential security threat onboard" and was "instructed to divert to the nearest airport, Minsk." Later, it turned out to be a complete farce.
Leaders of the member states urged the European Council to adopt the necessary measures to ban overflight of EU airspace by Belarusian airlines, prevent access to EU airports of Belarusian flights and called on all EU-based carriers to avoid overflight of Belarus, according to the conclusions.
The 27-member bloc strongly condemned the incident which endangered aviation safety and called on the International Civil Aviation Organization to urgently investigate "this unprecedented and unacceptable incident." (ANI)