Air India Saves Time, Fuel As Pakistani Airspace Opened


Air India saves time, fuel as Pakistani airspace opened

Air India had to face a loss of Rs 6 billion since March 16 due to closure of Pakistan’s airspace.

Lahore (Pakistan Point News – 7th April, 2019) With Pakistan opening its airspace partially from April 4, Indian airline Air India has started saving on time and fuel for its US and Europe-bound flights.

The Indian national carrier re-routed some of its flights which had to take a longer flight path over Mumbai to reach the US and Europe.

"We are saving 15 minutes on our US and Europe-bound flights since Pakistan opened some of its airspace from last Thursday," a senior Air India official said.

Pakistan had closed its airspace since the Indian Air Force (IAF) strikes in Balakot on February 26. The move had adversely affected international flights to and from India, with Air India being a major victim.

Flights from across the world were either cancelled or re-routed since the closure was announced on February 27. Pakistan partially opened its airspace, only for the flights bound for the country.

Air India, which operates 33 weekly services to the US and 66 to Europe, had curtailed operations due to the airspace closure. It had clubbed together several US and Europe-bound flights.

Flights to the US and Europe are now diverted over Mumbai and then northwards over the Arabian Sea.

The flights from the US had been taking a longer route, which had extended their duration on the already long-haul journeys.

According to a report, Air India had to face a loss of Rs 6 billion since March 16 due to closure of Pakistan’s airspace. India’s distance with Western countries had increased by four more hours due to suspension of Pakistan’s airspace. This had caused difficulty to passengers as well.

Mahnoor Sheikh

The writer is News Editor, Pakistan Point. She has graduated in Mass Communication and has worked in various media houses