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Pak airspace opens, first plane to fly is an Air India
Big respite for India
AI, which has been losing crores daily due to the airspace closure since February 27 and its flights to and from the west taking long routes, acted swiftly.
First flight to fly after re-opening
“The flight landed here about 1.5 hours before the schedule time that the longer route would have taken," said an official.
Airspace closed since Balakot strike
The closure meant flights between south Asia, including north India with Delhi at its heart, had to take much longer routes on these routes leading to increase in flying time by anywhere up to three hours; adding fuelling stops on direct India-US nonstops of Air India; cancelled flights of airlines like United on India-Newark sectors and a sharp hike in operating costs for airlines.
IndiGo’s Delhi-Istanbul flight has been taking a stop both on the way out and in since launch this March due to Pakistan airspace closure and will be direct from Wednesday.
It has lost Rs 491 crore till July 2 followed by SpiceJet, IndiGo and GoAir losing Rs 30.7 crore, Rs 25.1 crore and Rs Rs 2.1 crore, respectively.
SpiceJet had cancelled its Delhi-Kabul direct since Pakistan airspace closure. However, Pakistan airspace will not witness one Indian carrier over its skies now — Jet airways — which was flying on February 27 and has since shut down.