Pakistan suffered losses of over Rs 8 billion due to the closure of its airspace. The Pakistan airspace was closed after Indian Air Force (IAF) crossed into Pakistan territory and attacked what New Delhi called Terror Camps.
Normal air traffic operations between India and Pakistan resumed on Tuesday with Islamabad opening its airspace for all civilian flights. Addressing a press conference at the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) headquarters here, Pakistan Federal Minister for Aviation Ghulam Sarwar Khan said that the CAA suffered a loss of Rs 8.5 billion because of the airspace restrictions.
“It’s a huge loss for our overall [aviation] industry. But this restriction hit India harder than Pakistan. The loss of India is almost double. But at this juncture detente and harmony are required from both sides,” the minister was quoted as saying by the Dawn newspaper.
Earlier, Islamabad had turned down India’s request to remove the restriction on the Pakistani airspace which has caused massive loss of revenues and inconvenience to global operators.
Aviation Secretary Shahrukh Nusrat informed the Senate Standing Committee on Aviation that his department has intimated Indian officials that Pakistani airspace would remain unavailable for use by India until war jets are removed from Indian airbases.
He further apprised the committee that Indian officials have contacted Pakistan requesting it to lift the airspace restriction. “However, Indian officials have been told that Indian airbases are still laden with fighter jets and Pakistan will not allow the resumption of flight operations from India until their removal,” said Nusrat.
Aviation experts talking to EurAsian Times stated – Both sides were suffering, probably Pakistan was hit more severely due to its fragile economy, but Islamabad continued to maintain pressure on India to start a dialogue which New Delhi had been evading for long.