New Delhi: The IndiGo flights will now operate normally with all regulatory clearances by the concerned authorities as Pakistan has opened the airspace for Indian flights, the company stated on Tuesday. “We are pleased with the latest development relating to the opening of the Pakistan airspace as announced today,” said the airline.
India’s largest airline by domestic market share, IndiGo was unable to start direct flights from Delhi to Istanbul due to the closure of the Pakistan airspace. The Delhi-Istanbul flight was started by the low-cost carrier in the month of March.
Till date, this IndiGo flight had to take the longer route over the Arabian Sea and make a stop at Doha in Qatar for refuelling. With the closure of the Pakistan airspace, IndiGo suffered a loss of Rs 25.1 crore, as per a data presented by Civil Aviation Minister Hardeep Singh Puri in the Rajya Sabha on July 3.
On Tuesday morning, Pakistan effectively removed the ban on Indian flights that were not allowed to use a majority of its airspace since the Balakot airstrikes in February.
Notably, the Budget passenger carrier IndiGo on Monday stated that 6 more flights will be brought to operation to enhance international connectivity.
Pakistan had fully closed its airspace on February 26 after the Indian Air Force (IAF) struck a Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) terrorist training camp in Balakot in retaliation to the Pulwama attack on February 14. Since then, the neighbouring country had only opened two routes, both of them passing through the southern region, of the total 11.
On its part, the IAF had announced on May 31 that all temporary restrictions imposed on the Indian airspace post the Balakot strike had been removed. However, it did not benefit most of the commercial airliners and they were waiting for Pakistan to fully open its airspace.
(With Agency inputs)