Virginia, US

Feb 28 2019

Immigration Impacts of Airspace Closure

India, Pakistan

The situation

Amid the growing political tension between India and Pakistan, there has been widespread disruption to air travel in the affected regions.

A closer look

  • Airport closures and delays. Travelers are advised to check reliable international air traffic websites to determine current airport closures and delays. Currently, all Indian airports in the northern region of India are operational and Pakistan airspace is set to re-open 8am GMT Friday, March 1.
  • Flight cancellations and rerouting. Major commercial airlines have suspended, cancelled or rerouted their flights to/from India and Pakistan to avoid the restricted airspace. Flights to and from other destinations that pass through the restricted airspace have been suspended or cancelled as well. Affected travellers may need to postpone their travel, if possible, until the situation normalizes, or find alternative routes to reach their destination. Alternative routes may mean longer travel times and increased costs due to additional flights and accommodation. 
  • Travel documentation reminders. Employers should ensure that employees carry valid travel documentation both to depart and re-enter the affected areas to prevent unnecessary travel restrictions. Foreign nationals should also ensure their passports and visas are valid to avoid any departure issues.
  • Contacting consular posts. Affected individuals who have lost their passports or are otherwise in need of travel assistance should contact their respective consular posts or embassies in their country of residence.


Looking ahead

The situation in India and Pakistan is fluid and travellers and their employers should know that travel in the area is likely affected into the coming days.

The Crisis Management Team at Fragomen continues to support our clients with international assignees who have immediate plans to travel into or out of affected areas and who are potentially impacted by the situation, to help them understand how they might be impacted and to offer solutions.

Fragomen will continue to monitor the situation and report on relevant developments.

This alert is for informational purposes only. If you have any questions, please contact the global immigration professional with whom you work at Fragomen or send an email to Fragomen’s Crisis Management Team lead by Global Government Strategies Partner, Julia Onslow-Cole, UAE-based Partner Murtaza Khan and India-based Partner Saju James