June 25 IndiGo's Airbus A321neo was operating scheduled flight 6E2124 between Srinagar and Jammu when controllers diverted it to land in Amritsar due to bad weather. However, when the plane was heading to the alternate airfield, it crossed the air border of Pakistan.
Fortunately, the rerouting was monitored by the appropriate air traffic control services in Lahore and Jammu and misunderstandings were avoided.
Bad weather and maneuvering in the air, for a variety of reasons, often force aircraft to deviate from their normal routes and sometimes enter into foreign airspace. The nearest air traffic control center is always aware of these deviations, including in the case of the last IndiGo flight.
What makes Indian and Pakistani airspace incidents stand out from the crowd?
Complex political relations between the two countries in recent years have meant that there is currently no air or rail link between India and Pakistan .
A few years ago, Pakistan International Airlines operated flights between Lahore and Delhi, as well as Karachi and Mumbai, but recently diplomatic relations between India and Pakistan have deteriorated so much that all direct flights have been canceled.
Flights are unlikely to resume any time soon as Pakistani Railways and Aviation Minister Khawaja Saad Rafik commented at a media event last year that there were no proposals to resume air and rail links between the two countries.
Sunday's incident was the second this month involving an IndiGo jet invading Pakistani airspace. Earlier in June, IndiGo Flight 6E-645 was flying from Amritsar to Ahmedabad and was diverted from its route over Atari into Pakistani airspace due to bad weather. The diversion was coordinated with Pakistan ATC Amritsar by phone. The crew was in constant contact with the Pakistani authorities, and the plane landed safely in Ahmedabad.
In May, the Boeing 777 “Pakistani” also briefly entered Indian airspace. The flight was operating from Dammam and as the aircraft was approaching Allama Iqbal International Airport in Lahore, it encountered heavy rain resulting in an erratic approach. The pilots aborted their landing and turned around.
After flying about 40 kilometers through Taran Sahib and Rasulpur in the Indian state of Punjab, the plane turned towards Pakistan. It re-entered Indian airspace, flying over the villages of Dona Mabboki, Chaant, Dhupsari Kasur and Gati Kalanjar in the Kasur district of Pakistan's Punjab. This “excursion” over India lasted almost three minutes, and only then the plane with passengers returned to Pakistan.