After a lengthy blockade of their airspace, Pakistan finally opened up their airspace for flights flying over into India and other parts of South East Asia only last month. The Airspace was closed for over four months, causing many Indian carriers to modify routes to fly over the Middle East and then fly into India.
Just as life was settling in, Pakistan seems to have upset the apple cart again. It seems an over-eager minister from Pakistan tweeted out about how Pakistan is planning to reinstate a ban on their airspace, only for access to Indian stations it seems this time around.
PM is considering a complete closure of Air Space to India, a complete ban on use of Pakistan Land routes for Indian trade to Afghanistan was also suggested in cabinet meeting,legal formalities for these decisions are under consideration… #Modi has started we ll finish!
— Ch Fawad Hussain (@fawadchaudhry) August 27, 2019
However, Pakistan Foreign Minister clarified that no decision was taken yet on closing the country’s airspace to India.
Flight times that use the Pakistani Airspace, go up by about 70 minutes or so when an aircraft has to fly around Pakistan, and in many cases even more since the flight needs to then be taking a one-stop approach if they need refuelling. Westbound flights taking off from airports in northern India, such as Delhi, Chandigarh, and Amritsar, will be affected the most.
Not just that, airlines end up digging into their heels and make losses which they try and not pass on to the customers. Having said that, flight prices did go up the last time this happened to account for increased fuel consumption and so on.
For Pakistan, many people estimate, that US Dollar 50 million was the lost revenue caused due to the ban.
Let’s hope they think twice before moving forward on a ban this time around. After all, it may be a huge loss of revenue for them, apart from inconvenience for travellers around the world.
What do you make of the plans Pakistan has, if any, to block their airspace again?