Modi’s US Flight To Avoid Afghanistan; Pakistan Gives Nod To Use Its Airspace

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi‘s non-stop flight to the United States  on Wednesday will fly over Pakistan’s airspace to avoid Afghanistan. Modi has embarked on a three-day visit to the US, where he will address the UN General Assembly and attend the Quad Summit as well as hold a bilateral meet with US President Joe Biden at the White House.

PM Modi will be accompanied by a high-level delegation including National Security Advisor Ajit Doval, Foreign Secretary Harsh Vardhan Shringla and top government officials.

According to sources, India had sought permission from Pakistan regarding the usage of Pakistan’s airspace for Modi’s flight to the US, for which Islamabad gave a nod.

The aircraft carrying PM Modi and the Indian high-level delegation took off from the Indian Air Force (IAF) Technical Airbase in Delhi on Wednesday morning.

First time Air India One (AI1) the call sign of India’s VVIP Boeing aircraft has been deployed for US long haul direct flight. The new Boeing B-777 aircraft Extra Range (ER300) aircraft, which was recently modified for VVIP guests of India is also equipped with advanced defence systems.

The B-777 will take 15 hours of non-stop flight directly to the US. As it is avoiding Afghanistan’s airspace, the flight will fly extra hours for the US trip.

The VVIP plane will avoid Afghanistan airspace, the country had closed its airspace for any commercial use. The new regime in Afghanistan announced the closure of its airspace on August 16 just after the Taliban took full control of the nation.

Due to the precarious security situation in Afghanistan, the Indian government has advised its carriers to avoid airspace over the country.