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(twitter.com)

An Air India flight from Delhi to Tel Aviv started very far to the south before turning west. Why did it do that? Which airspace did they have to circumvent for political reasons? The India-Pakistan border is way further up north, so that shouldn't be the issue, or is it?

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(flightaware.com) Return flight.

AI 140 (the return flight) arrives closer to the Pakistani FIR border. The south route when flying westward can be explained by jet stream avoidance.

Apart from the recent exceptions given to Air India by Saudi Arabia and Oman, the countries shown below do not permit flights to enter their airspace if their destination/origin is Israel (flightservicebureau.org, March 2018).

This is also briefly covered on FR24's blog.

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I remember from about 5 years ago is that there is only one air corridor for commercial jets passing thru Iran airspace, making it quite congested and slot critical. Overflight costs is also very expensive.

Also the perception is that the airspace over Iran is not the safest in the world. I believe most airlines fly to the north or to the south of Iran, unless flying to a destination in the country of course. Example MH17, even though a lot of airlines were flying over the Ukraine, MH was criticized for flying thru a "war zone".

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    $\begingroup$ Well, a flight to TLV won't go soon through Iran airspace anyways. I was wondering about how far south it went inside India before turning towards the ocean. $\endgroup$ – Florian Mar 26 '18 at 1:41

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