Photo: Reuters
Photo: Reuters

Pakistan F-16 jets intercepted Spicejet flight in September: report

  • The Spicejet flight, with 120 passengers, was on its way from New Delhi to Kabul when it was intercepted, a news report says
  • After intercepting the flight, the Pakistani fighter jets then escorted the airliner out of the country's airspace, the report says

Pakistan F-16 fighters intercepted a Spicejet flight in September after confusion over its call sign, a news report said. The Spicejet flight, with 120 passengers, was on its way from New Delhi to Kabul when it was intercepted, NDTV news channel reported on Thursday.

After intercepting the flight, the Pakistani fighter jets then escorted the airliner out of the country's airspace last month, the report said, adding that the incident took place on 23. September.

There was no immediate comment from the Pakistan high commission in New Delhi.

According to NDTV report, there was confusion over the "call-sign" assigned to the Boeing 737 aircraft prompting the interception. The aircraft was asked to lower its altitude by the Pakistani Air Force jets before being escorted out of Pakistani air space.

Pakistan had in February closed its airspace allowing traffic only on select routes after Indian fighter aircraft bombed a terrorist training camp in Balakot in the Khyber Paktunkhwa province. This was after a terrorist blew up a car full of explosives in Kashmir’s Pulwama region killing 40 Indian paramilitary personnel. Pakistan air force jets on 27 February launched an aerial raid against Indian military installations in Kashmir. It was foiled by the Indian Air Force. Pakistani air space was opened fully in July but was closed to flights from India after tensions mounted between the two countries over New Delhi revoking Article 370 of its constitution that granted special status to Kashmir. Pakistan subsequently refused requests by India to allow special aircraft carrying Prime Minister Narendra Modi and President Ram Nath Kovind on official trips to Europe and the US.

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