Early Tuesday Pakistan opened its air space for all the civil air traffic. This was done by the civil aviation authority of Pakistan at 12:41 am (Indian time) by issuing a notice.
Pakistan civil aviation authority issued a notice to airmen stating “with immediate effect Pakistan airspace is open for all type of all civil traffic on published ATS ( Air Traffic Service) routes”. This news came after a long awaited halt of 138 days after the Balakot air strike.
Due to the ban imposed by Pakistan on its airspace Indian flights had to take a de tour and take fuel exhausting flights through the Arabian sea. This costed Air India around 500 crore worth of loss. Essentially after the Balakot airstrike Pakistan banned its airspace for Indian airplanes. To uplift the ban Pakistan government put forward a demand asking Indian government to move back its fighter jets from forward bases near the international border and L.O.C (Line of control). This demand was boldly denied by the Indian government finally forcing Pakistan civil aviation authority to uplift the ban after a net loss of 685 Crore according to media reports.
Al in a statement said: "Ever since Pakistani airspace was closed, we had to reroute our flights south of Pakistan. The flying time for Long haul flights towards USA increased by 90 minutes and also addition fuel usage needed. US-bound flights had to take a stop at Vienna where crew was changed, and (this entire process took an extra) three hours. As Pakistan airspace now open aircraft utilisation will go up while crew requirement will come down by 25%. Flight operation cost for US-bound flight will drop by Rs 20 lakh one way and for Europe-bound flights by Rs. 5 lakh. From Tuesday-Wednesday night flight operation may return to route taken before closer of Pakistani airspace.”
The above step is seen to be taken by Pakistan government to correct its image in international forum, specially U.S.A. Imran khan is to meet Donald Trump on 22 July so as to remove an unnecessary issue that would have been discussed in the bilateral meet hampering Pakistan’s image.
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