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Airport chaos over India-Pakistan crisis

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The two nuclear powers, India and Pakistan claim to have shot down each others’ aircraft over disputed Kashmir, with Pakistan releasing vision of a captured pilot.

Chaos at Bangkok Airport after escalating tensions between neighbouring India and Pakistan caused flights to the UK to be cancelled.Source:Viral Press

Thai Airways has cancelled all of its flights to Europe as the India-Pakistan crisis sparks travel chaos around the world.

Hundreds of Brits are stranded in Thailand with no information for when flights will resume after the airline chose to cancel flights rather than fly over the conflict zone.

Flight Radar data shows Pakistan airspace almost entirely devoid of aircraft — a stark contrast to a month before when the country’s skies were busy with commercial flights.

Thai Airways’ move left furious tourists with an uncertain delay at the Suvarnabhumi Airport in Bangkok.

Hundreds were left stranded at the airport in Thailand after flights to Europe were cancelled amid the India plane shootings.

Hundreds were left stranded at the airport in Thailand after flights to Europe were cancelled amid the India plane shootings.Source:Viral Press

The 13-hour route goes straight across India and passes through Pakistan — and risks being affected during the current tension.

The next scheduled flight to London was due to leave just after midnight tonight at 00:15, but officials said it would be rescheduled.

Flights to Frankfurt, Paris, Oslo, Milan, Zurich and Copenhagen were also cancelled.

Frustrated backpacker Nicolle Paisley, who was on the flight that turned back earlier today, said she was stuck in limbo between arrivals and immigration.

She said: “We’ve been back for hours now, no food or water. No information on our rescheduled flight. Not good enough at all.

Some passengers complained of no information.

Some passengers complained of no information.Source:Viral Press

”The staff aren’t doing much to help. I’m already at the airport. They’ve told us to stay in line. They can’t help as they don’t have the answers either. We just want to know when our flight is.’’

Chris McAloran said he was waiting for updates from the airline.

He added: “My wife is also waiting at the same flight to get home for her father’s funeral.’’

Thai Airways president Sumeth Damrongchaitham said an urgent meeting had been called to reschedule flights to Europe, which normally pass through airspace affected by the chaos between India and Pakistan.

Travel chaos as thousands wait for new flights.

Travel chaos as thousands wait for new flights.Source:Viral Press

He said: “The conflict situation between Pakistan and India has affected Thai Airways flights. Flights also had to turn back to Bangkok, including the London and Frankfurt flights.

“By closing the airspace, every flight from Thailand to Europe has been affected. For flights that are going to depart this evening we will call an urgent meeting to consider the impact of such events.’’

Thai Airways has 13 routes to Europe: Denmark, Norway, Belgium, France, Russia, Germany Frankfurt, Germany Munich, Switzerland, Sweden, United Kingdom, Italy Rome, Italy Milan and Austria.

Similar scenes were playing out in the United Arab Emirates and Singapore as flights were rescheduled or rerouted as a precaution.

Similar scenes unfolded as flights in Singapore and United Arab Emirates were rescheduled.

Similar scenes unfolded as flights in Singapore and United Arab Emirates were rescheduled.Source:Viral Press

Many flights faced far longer routes as well, including one SpiceJet flight from Kabul to Delhi that would usually take an hour and 40 minutes but would now take over five hours.

Several other airlines, including Emirates and Qatar Airways, suspended flights to Pakistan after the nation closed its air space as a result of the heightened tensions, according to CNN.

Etihad, flydubai, Gulf Air and SriLankan Airlines also suspended services to Pakistan, and flight tracking portals showed Singapore Airlines, British Airways and others were forced to reroute flights.

For a period on Wednesday, nine airports in India were closed for flights — including Srinagar, Jammu and Leh airports, according to Gulf News.

This article originally appeared on The Sun and was reproduced with permission

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