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Pakistan’s refusal of airspace for Srinagar-Sharjah flights alerts MoCA, MEA and MHA

The decision will affect the people of Jammu and Kashmir the most as the flight from Srinagar to Sharjah will be delayed more than an hour as planes will have to fly via Udaipur, Ahmedabad and Oman. This will also make the flight tickets more expensive.

Pakistan refusal of airspace for Srinagar-Sharjah flights alerts MoCA, MEA and MHA-dnm
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New Delhi, First Published Nov 3, 2021, 2:20 PM IST
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The recently inaugurated Srinagar-Sharjah flight, which was revived after 11 years, faced a hiccup as the Pakistan government on Wednesday refused the use of its airspace for flights from J&K's Srinagar to Sharjah.

The decision will affect the people of Jammu and Kashmir the most as the flight from Srinagar to Sharjah will be delayed more than an hour as planes will have to fly via Udaipur, Ahmedabad and Oman. This will also make the flight tickets more expensive.

According to government sources, Pakistan has refused its airspace use to Go First's Srinagar-Sharjah flight. It has raised concerns over the use of their airspace. The matter has been reported to the concerned ministries; MoCA, MEA and MHA and they are looking into it.

On October 23, Union Home Minister Amit Shah flagged off the first flight from Srinagar to Sharjah at Srinagar Airport and the first few flights used the Pakistani airspace.

Meanwhile, calling the move ‘very unfortunate’, former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah tweeted, “Pakistan did the same thing with the Air India Express flight from Srinagar to Dubai in 2009-2010. I had hoped that Go First being permitted to overfly Pak airspace was indicative of a thaw in relations, but alas, that wasn't to be.”

According to a media report, on Friday Prime Minister Narendra Modi's special VVIP flight, en route to Italy for the G20 Summit, flew over the Pakistani airspace and also used it again on its return journey after getting formal permission from Islamabad.

Prime Minister Modi's plane Boeing 777, 300ER, K7066 entered the Pakistani airspace from Bahawalpur, passed through Turbat and Panjgur and via Iran and Turkey reached Italy, The Express Tribune reported.

Formerly known as GoAir, Go First, has become the first airline to start direct international connections and direct international cargo operations from Srinagar. Four flights a week will be operated between Srinagar and Sharjah.

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