Islamabad: An Emirates Airline aircraft flying from Dubai to New Delhi with External Affairs Minister S M Krishna on board was diverted to the Pakistani port city of Karachi on Thursday night due to bad weather in Indian airspace.
Krishna, who was in Brazil on an official visit, had cut short his trip and was returning to New Delhi following the death of Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Y S Rajasekhara Reddy in a chopper crash.
"The pilot of the Emirates flight sought permission from Pakistani authorities to land in Karachi after bad weather developed over New Delhi. The aircraft was granted permission and landed in Karachi at 10.35 pm," Civil Aviation Authority spokesman George Pervez told PTI.
After waiting in vain for over an hour for weather to clear over India, the pilot decided to fly back to Dubai at 2344 hrs (local time) after the aircraft was refuelled, Pervez said.
Pervez said reports in the Pakistani media that the aircraft had developed a problem with its oxygen system were not correct.
Reports said besides Krishna, several senior Indian officials were also on the flight. The total number of passengers on the flight could not be immediately ascertained.
No passengers were allowed to leave the aircraft while it was on the ground in Karachi.
An Emirates spokesperson said the Delhi-bound flight EK514 with 101 passengers on board, which had left Dubai at 1340 hrs (local time), was diverted to Karachi due to bad weather and had to return to Dubai.
The passengers have been allocated seats on another flight EK510 which will leave Dubai at 04:30 local time. This will "impact the 180 passengers of flight EK513 leaving Delhi at 0400 hrs (local time) with economy class passengers reallocated seats on flight EK511 which departs at 1100 hrs (local time).