India has asked Pakistan to allow airspace for Srinagar-Dubai flights which started from October 23.
Pakistan earlier this week did not allow the overflight clearance for the route.
According to reports quoting government officials, India has requested Pakistan to grant overflight clearance to GoFirst airline’s Srinagar-Sharjah flight keeping in mind the larger interest of common people who have booked tickets for the route.
Since Pakistan on Tuesday disallowed the airspace, the Srinagar-Sharjah flight, as per reports, was forced to take a longer route and fly over Gujarat to reach the UAE.
Go First, previously known as GoAir, had started direct flights between Srinagar and Sharjah from October 23 and the service was inaugurated by Union Home Minister Amit Shah during his visit to the Valley last month.
“Pakistani authorities had granted overflight clearance to GoFirst flights to operate the Srinagar-Sharjah sector on October 23rd, 24th, 26th and 28th,” a national news agency quoted sources saying.
Pakistan, as per the report, put the clearance for the same flight on hold for the period from October 31 to November 30.
“This matter was promptly taken up with Pakistan through diplomatic channels and we have requested Pakistan to grant overflight clearance for this flight in the larger interest of the common people who have booked tickets on this route,” the report quoted the source saying.
The officials said Pakistan on Tuesday did not allow the flight to pass through its airspace, and therefore, the service had to take a longer route, going over Gujarat, adding around 40 minutes to the flight time on the onward journey as well as the return journey.
A longer route means higher fuel consumption, which may push the airline to increase the ticket prices or turn this non-stop service to a one-stop service.
Therefore, the officials said that India has requested Pakistan to grant the overflight clearance to this flight keeping in mind the larger interest of common people who have booked the tickets on this service.
The Pakistani government is yet to give any specific reason for refusing the permission to the flight, officials said.
They said the flight, which operates four times a week, did not face any issue when it used Pakistan airspace between October 23 and October 31.
Go First has not issued any statement or comment on this matter as yet.