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Srinagar-Sharjah flights hit turbulence; Pakistan air space denied

Ziraat Times Team Report

Srinagar, Nov 3: Srinagar-Sharjah weekly flights are likely to experience longer travel time and enhanced passenger costs as Pakistan has reportedly disallowed flights taking off from Srinagar for Sharjah flying over its territory.

According to media reports, India’s Ministry of External Affairs has been informed about Pakistan’s decision. Civil Aviation Ministry has also been intimated. No reasons have been assigned for this latest decision as of now.

Pertinently, Pakistan’s aviation regulator – the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) of Pakistan – had given a green signal to Srinagar-Sharjah flights flying over Pakistani air space earlier this month. The development of the creation of an international travel corridor for people in Kashmir had been received with immense enthusiasm by travelers in the valley.

International travelers to and from Kashmir were not only able to cut short travel time between UAE and Kashmir immensely but were able to travel to other international destinations using Sharjah/Dubai as transit hubs.

India had earlier sought a special permission to use the Pakistani airspace for its flight from Srinagar to Sharjah and the permission was granted by Pakistan.

Starting October 23, several flights have since operated between Sharjah and Srinagar, mainly using short distance Airbus A320, and using the Lahore region airspace.

According to media reports, the Pakistan government’s latest decision is being viewed as a violation of international norms– the International Civil Aviation Organisation’s (ICAO) First Freedom of the Air – in India.

Without the option of Pakistan airspace, Srinagar-Sharjah flights would now be an hour and a half longer as planes will have to fly to Sharjah via Udaipur and Ahmedabad and overfly Oman.  The flight may also result in extra costs for passengers.

 

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