Pakistan won’t allow its airspace for Srinagar-Sharjah flights
Pakistan has denied use of its airspace for flights from J&K’s Srinagar to Sharjah, which resumed after 11 years. The decision which is likely to affect the people of Jammu and Kashmir the most.
The flight from Srinagar to Sharjah will be more than an hour longer as planes will have to fly via Udaipur, Ahmedabad and Oman due to the decision. The passengers will also have to spend more money as the journey is going to be more expensive.
Reacting on this, former J&K chief minister Omar Abdullah tweeted, “Pakistan did the same thing with the Air India Express flight from Srinagar to Dubai in 2009-2010. I had hoped that Go First being permitted to overfly Pak airspace was indicative of a thaw in relations, but alas, that wasn’t to be.”
On October 23, Union Home Minister Amit Shah flagged off the inaugural Srinagar-Sharjah flight from the Sheikh Ul-Alam international airport in Srinagar. In the process, the direct air link between the valley and the UAE was revived after 11 years.
After the inaugural flight, Omar Abdullah wanted to know if Pakistan had allowed the use of its airspace.
“The Srinagar-Sharjah flight that has been announced today. Has Pakistan had a change of heart and 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,” Omar Abdullah had tweeted.
Upon knowing Pakistan’s decision, the NC leader said the Srinagar-Dubai flight had to make a “technical halt” in Delhi or had to fly south and go around Pakistan airspace, which made the flight completely unviable both in terms of cost and time.
The first international flight from the Srinagar airport to Dubai began on February 14, 2009 by Air India Express though the service was discontinued due to low demand.
Go First, formerly known as GoAir, will operate four flights a week between Srinagar and Sharjah.