Wednesday, March 3, 2021

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Pakistan To Open Its Airspace After Incurring Heavy Loses

Pakistan will soon remove airspace restriction for airlines flying to and from India provided the New Delhi shrinks army build-up on the India-Pakistan border. Pakistan has lost massive revenues on overflying charges especially at a time when Islamabad is in deep financial crisis.

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In the wake of escalating tension between India and Pakistan post-Indian Air Force strikes in Balakot, Islamabad had restricted its airspace for airlines to and from India.

“Pakistan is incurring massive losses due to airspace restriction. Now that the Indian general elections are over, Islamabad wants New Delhi to de-escalate tension on the border. If that happens, it is keen to remove airspace restriction,” said a senior official aware of the development.

Pakistan had earlier said that use of its airspace would remain restricted until May 30 and a further decision on it would be taken after re-assessing the overall situation.

The Islamic country had made a rare exception last week allowing the plane flying External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj to fly directly through Pakistani airspace to attend the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) meet in Bishkek last week.

The constraint has been troubling India carriers too as they have to take long detours to reach destinations in Europe, US and Canada.  The deviation of long-haul flights costing national carrier Air India profoundly. The airline is learnt to be losing Rs 6 crore daily on account of diversion of its US and Europe-bound flights.

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