In a briefing to a parliamentary committee, Aviation Secretary Shahrukh Nusrat has said that Pakistan has refused a request to open its airspace for International flights crossing over Indian Border until India de-escalates the tense situation.
The Aviation Secretary said that Pakistan has conveyed it’s concerned and told India that Air Space will not be opened until India withdraws its Fighter Jets from Forward Operating Bases along the Border.
Pakistan closed its Airspace for Commercial Flights after Indian Jets tried to enter Pakistani Airspace which was followed by a brief Aerial Counters on 26th of February this year. An Indian fighter Jet was downed by the Pakistani Jets inside Pakistan’s territory resulting in the capture of Indian Pilot who was later released.
Pakistan’s Civil Aviation, later on, restored the Air Space for Commercial Trafic except for traffic crossing India-Pakistan Border.
Indian Civil Aviation Minister Hardeep Singh has previously said that Indian airlines have already suffered a huge loss of minimum Rs. 5,490 million owing to Pakistan’s closure of the airspace since February 27.
The closure of Air Space has stretched flight time, increased fuel costs and resulted in operational difficulties for both Indian Originated and East Bound flights. Many of the Airlines have discontinued their flights while most of them have to add a Re-fueling stop in their flight path. Around 400 flights per day are being impacted by the closure of Pakistani Air Space.
With the Measure, Pakistan International Airline has also suffered as it had to abandon its Kuala Lumpur, Bangkok and Delhi routes. However, new routes were opened to partially recoup the losses.