Pak won’t open airspace until India de-escalates

Pakistan has refused to open its airspace until India de-escalates. According to a Dawn report, Pakistan Aviation Secretary Shah­rukh Nusrat has told a parliamentary committee that Islamabad won’t open its airspace until New Delhi meets Pakistan’s conditions.

“The Indian government approached asking us to open the airspace. We conveyed our concerns that first India must withdraw its fighter planes placed forward,” Nusrat told the Senate Standing Committee on Aviation.

According to the report, the aviation secretary was responding to questions from members of the committee, who were inquiring about profitable and loss-making routes of Pakistan International Airlines (PIA).

Pakistan closing its airspace after the February 26 Balakot airstrike has led to huge losses to Indian airlines. Besides, oil companies have now raised the price of fuel. The longer routes required to avoid flying over Pakistan are forcing airlines to burn more fuel and money. According to some reports, Air India has suffered a loss of over Rs 400 crore ever since the Balakot.