KV Network

Surprising, but a welcome move

Surprising, but a welcome move
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Pakistan made a surprising announcement on Tuesday after it announced opining its airspace for all civilian traffic effectively removing the ban on Indian and other flights that were not allowed to use majority of its airspace since the escalation of hostilities and the Balakot air strikes in February this year.
The move was quite surprising on many fronts as it will not only bring relief to the common air traveler but will also save the operating airlines lot of money as well.
The move is expected to give a major relief to Air India, which suffered a huge financial loss of around Rs 491 crore as it had to re-route its various international flights due to the closure of the Pakistan airspace
The move to reopen its airspace was announced by Pakistan’s Civil Aviation Authority as it issued a notice to airmen (NOTAM) at around 12.41 am Indian Standard Time on Tuesday, stating that “with immediate effect Pakistan airspace is open for all type of civil traffic on published ATS (air traffic service) routes”
The airspace was fully closed on February 26 after the Indian Air Force (IAF) reportedly struck a Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) training camp in Balakot in retaliation to the Pulwama attack on February 14. Since then, the neighbouring country had only opened two routes, both of them passing through the southern region, of the total 11
On its part, the IAF had announced on May 31 that all temporary restrictions imposed on the Indian airspace post the Balakot strike had been removed. However, it did not benefit most of the commercial airliners and they were waiting for Pakistan to fully open its airspace
In India, the biggest loss owing to the closure of airspace was suffered by Air India that conducts various international flights from Delhi to Europe and the US. The national carrier had lost Rs 491 crore till July 2 due to the closure of the Pakistan airspace. Private airlines SpiceJet, IndiGo and GoAir lost Rs 30.73 crore, Rs 25.1 crore and Rs 2.1 crore, respectively.
Post the air strike, Air India had to re-route, merge or suspend many of its international flights that connect India with European and US cities. IndiGo, India’s largest airline by domestic market share, was unable to start direct flights from Delhi to Istanbul due to the closure of the Pakistan airspace
The low-cost carrier started the Delhi-Istanbul flight in March. Till date, this IndiGo flight had to take the longer route over the Arabian Sea and make a stop at Doha in Qatar for refuelling.
Interestingly, the move also comes a day after Indian and Pakistani officials reached a near about final draft on Kartapur corridor. The move means that the strained relations between India and Pakistan can open up further to come to a level where the issues that are leading to confrontation and hostilities are also taken up for discussions to get them resolved.

KV Network

Kashmir Vision cover all daily updates for the newspaper

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