- The first direct Srinagar-Sharjah flight was flagged off by Home Minister Amit Shah on October 23; detour will make flight longer
Srinagar: Less than a fortnight after Union Home Minister Amit Shah flagged off the first direct flight from Srinagar to Sharjah, it has already hit a hurdle. Pakistan closing its airspace, forcing the aircraft to take a longer route.
According to sources, Pakistan has raised concern over the use of its airspace for Go First’s Srinagar-Sharjah flight. The matter has been reported to the ministries of Civil Aviation, External Affairs and Home Affairs.
The Srinagar-Sharjah flight was flagged off by Amit Shah on October 23 during his three-day visit to Jammu and Kashmir.
The initial few flights had taken the Pakistan route. However, now with Pakistan closing its airspace, the flight will have to take a longer route and thus more time. Not just this, even the fare will be higher.
At that time, National Conference leader Omar Abdullah had tweeted, “Regarding the Srinagar-Sharjah flight that has been announced today – has Pakistan had a change of heart & allowed flights originating from Srinagar to use its airspace? If not then this flight will die the way the Srinagar-Dubai flight died during UPA2.” In another tweet the same day, he wrote, “Good to see the refusal of airspace usage is a thing of the past. Perhaps there is hope for relations between the two countries.”
After the news surfaced, Abdullah once again took to Twitter on Wednesday, this time to express his disappointment. “Very unfortunate. Pakistan did the same thing with the Air India Express flight from Srinagar to Dubai in 2009-2010. I had hoped that @GoFirstairways being permitted to overfly Pak airspace was indicative of a thaw in relations but alas that wasn’t to be,” he posted.
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