NEW DELHI:Pakistan hasopened its airspace for all civiliantrafficon Tuesday morning, sources said, effective on removing the ban on Indian flights due to the majority of airspace the use of barakot air strikes since February.
The move is expected to give a major relief toAir India, which suffered a huge financial loss of around Rs 491 crore as it had re-route its various international flights due to the airspace.
“Pakistan has allowed all airlines to fly through its airspace from around 12.41 am today.Indian airline operators soon Pakistan airspace through normal routes using the start of the launch,” the sources said.
Pakistan’s Civil Aviation Authority issued a notice to airmen (NOTAM) at around 12.41 am Indian Standard Time, stating that “immediate impact Pakistan airspace is open for all types of civil traffic on published ATS (air traffic service) routes”.
The Indian Air Force (IAF) hit 14 February on the attack in the Balakot in retaliation to thePulwamaattack in a Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) terrorist training camp in theaftermath of 26February. Since then, the neighboring country 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 the temporary restrictions on the airspace post was blocked. However, it did not benefit most of the commercial airplanes and they were waiting for Pakistan to fully open its airspace.
In India, the biggest pain caused by Air India is that 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 Pakistan airspace. Private airlines SpiceJet, IndiGo and GoAir lost Rs 30.73 crore, Rs 25.1 crore and Rs 2.1 crore respectively, according to the data presented by Civil Aviation Minister Harideep Singh Puri in the Rajya Sabha on July 3.
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 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.