Pakistan Refuses Overflights For Srinagar – Sharjah Route

Pakistan Refuses Overflights For Srinagar – Sharjah Route


Pakistan Refuses Overflights For Srinagar – Sharjah Route

When the Srinagar-Sharjah flight was announced on 23 Oct, Omar Abdullah expressed doubt over whether Pakistan has indeed changed its heart and allowed Indian flight to enter its airspace. A similar flight started few years back in 2009 had been refused overflights and had to be stopped due to uneconomical longer route.

Pakistan has once again done the same this with The present flight from Srinagar to Dubai. The GoFirst airways flight has not been permitted to overfly Pak airspace. This is indicative of the Pakistani attitude towards India. Pakistan’s objection to the flight using its airspace has been reported to ministries concerned, including the civil aviation ministry, the external affairs ministry and the home ministry. National Conference leader and former J&K chief minister Omar Abdullah said the development is very unfortunate.

During his recent visit to the Valley, Union home minister Amit Shah had flagged off the first flight from Srinagar to Sharjah, an international route which was revived almost after 11 years.

As usual PDP president Mehbooba Mufi started her rant without giving any secod thought. She ranted that the government had started the flight off as only a ‘PR extravaganza without any groundwork’.

The withdrawal of existing International route comes at a time when the Pakistan government is allowing Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s special VVIP flight to use its airspace. In PM Modi’s recent visit to Italy for the G20 summit, PM Modi’s flight flew over the Pakistani airspace and came back using the same route. In September, when PM Modi flew to Washington, his flight was allowed to use Pakistan’s airspace.

India also allowed Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan’s flight to use India’s airspace when he was flying to Sri Lanka.

Now due to this Pakistani refusal to allow flights originating from Srinagar to use its airspace the SXR-DXB flight had to take a ‘technical halt’ in Delhi or had to fly south & go around Pakistan airspace. This has made the flight completely unviable both in terms of cost & time.

Earlier the flight was allowed to use Pakistani airspace and Abdullah had tweeted that satellite image and 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.” Now that the permission has been reportedly withdrawn, the flight is taking a longer route over Rajasthan, Gujarat to fly to Dubai.