In a significant set back for all the west bound flights from India and inbound flights from west, the Pakistan government extends its airspace ban along its eastern border with India. continued blockade of teh pakistan airspace means longer routes for the Indian origin flights to the west and Gulf regions from the north Indian airports.
As per the notice issued by the Civil Aviation Authority officials, the Airspace on the western frontier with India will remain closed except in Panjgoor Airpocket till July 26th. The government of Pakistan will take a call on when to open it for Indian bound flights.
* Pakistan Closed its Airspace on its eastern frontier with India, subsequent to the IAF’s strikes on the JeM hideout in western Pakistan at Balakot on February 26th.
- closure of this Air route means longer flight routes for the West bound flights to and from India.
- Delhi is the worst affected due to this closure as all the flights to and from it to west and gulf need to overfly Pakistan.
- Mumbai is spared as the air route skips Pakistan space and directly enters Gulf of Oman.
- in May Pakistan partially opens one of its 11 air routes P 518 in southern Pakistan which is being used by Air India, Turkish Airlines and Indigo.
- Pakistan is also loosing millions of dollars of Air navigation Dollars and so far lost around 110 million US$ in revenue.
- Pakistan is bartering this Airspace closure issue with India, insisting on Indian government to move all the fighter Aircraft from the forward base areas bordering Pakistan, to enable it to open the Air space for the commercial airliners.
Flights to and from Delhi are the worst affected, as they had to take a longer detour via Mumbai airspace and then proceed to the gulf of Oman to enter UAE & SAUDI airspace for the onward journey to Europe and US. Air India already suffered huge loss of Around 430 crores on account of the route diversions and related Fuel cost escalations and additional crew engagement.
Delhi Airport saw the cancellation of United Airlines’s Newark-Delhi flight and Air India’s Delhi-Madrid flights on account of the air space closure.
Added to the Pakistan space closure many east bound flights from west are taking a longer detour skipping Straight of Hormuz bordering Iranian airspace to avoid the conflict zone of the US-Iran skirmishes in the Persian gulf. FAA had warned all the US listed carriers to altogether avoid that Airspace.
(with Agency Inputs)