Pakistan Air Force F-16 planes escorted a Kabul-bound SpiceJet Boeing 737 aircraft in September in a case of mistaken id. The incident came about amid heightened tensions between two neighbours.
Sources stated Pakistan Air Force intercepted the SpiceJet aircraft working a Delhi-Kabul flight following a mix-up over its id. The aircraft was recognized as an Indian Air Force aircraft after which escorted by the Pakistani jets until it exited its airspace. “It was an uneventful flight thereafter. No one was injured. The incident was reported to the Directorate General of Civil Aviation and the pilot was debriefed,” stated an official conscious of the matter.
Air site visitors controllers observe aircraft with assist of a radar. Aircraft are fitted with transponders that help in radar identification. Each aircraft is assigned a specific transponder code. During flight pilots use name indicators to speak with air site visitors controllers.
SpiceJet didn’t touch upon the incident.
According to a newswire report, there have been 120 passengers on board the flight. It added that the pilots of the Indian aircraft had been requested to cut back their altitude which they complied with.
Pakistan had shut its airspace in February after an Indian air strike inside Pakistan territory that month. The restrictions had been eased and airspace opened for Indian aircraft in July.