Domestic airlines don’t want to fly over Pakistan; write to Modi govt

Domestic airlines including SpiceJet, Air India, IndiGo, have written to the government about their concerns of flying over Pakistan’s airspace, an Economic Times report said.

This comes at a time when the relationship between India and its neighbouring state is souring. It also comes in the aftermath of India turning away an aircraft coming from Pakistan after it changed its flight plan. A week back, India asked a Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) aircraft to turn away before it could enter the Indian airspace as it had not informed the Indian aviation authorities about a change in its flight plan.

The flight PK 894, bound for Kuala Lumpur, was re-routed to Lahore after it didn’t intimate the Indian authorities about the change in flight plan after ”take-off weight issues”, a PTI report filed in Lahore, said.

Domestic airlines that operate flights to the Gulf, fly over Pakistan’s airspace. Instead of the regular practice, the carriers now want to be permitted to fly from West India, over Ahmedabad, the report said.

According to a presentation made by the airlines to the government, SpiceJet said the move will also let it save fuel and route navigation flight charges (RNFC). It will also cut down on carbon emissions, it said.

SpiceJet wants to use the ”flexi-use airspace” option which lets commercial flights use airspace usually reserved for Air Force and Navy planes to avoid flying over Pakistan.