DELHI: Indian carriers have sought the government’s nod to fly from western India (mainly Ahmedabad) and over the Arabian Sea to reach destinations in the Gulf, in order to avoid flying through Pakistani airspace, reported the Times of India on Tuesday.
Air India, Jet Airways, IndiGo and SpiceJet operate flights which pass through Pakistani airspace to reach Gulf destinations, the report added.
According to the report, the requests have emerged due to the deteriorating ties between India and Pakistan, along with economic factors.
Speaking to ToI, an airline official said, “In the past few days, India has asked some non-scheduled aircraft flying from Pakistan to return and Pakistan may also retaliate. This is one fear that is behind the demand and the other is pure and simple cost factors.”
SpiceJet, according to the report, has sought direct access for its flights from Ahmedabad to the Gulf under the “flexi-use of airspace”. Flexi-use allows commercial aircraft to use airspace reserved for the air force and the navy.
“With this not only airlines save fuel and route navigation flight charges (RNFC), our country can generate more RNFC. This will also enable reduction in carbon emissions which is part of global environmental saving,” SpiceJet has said in a presentation, accessed by ToI, made to both defence and civil aviation ministries.