Passengers, airlines face steep costs due to closure of Pak airspace


The closure of Pakistan’s airspace for nearly three months has hit travellers and airlines from Afghanistan and Central Asia the hardest, with some airlines suspending or reducing flights while passengers grapple with a sharp rise in fares.

The fare for the Delhi-Kabul flight on Afghanistan’s Kam Air, for instance, has gone from $160 to almost $300 as the capacity has reduced substantially. Flight time has also doubled to six hours, and prices have increased as airlines cope with the costs of the longer time spent in the air. The Airports Authority of India (AAI) has deployed more air traffic controllers at Mumbai airport, with the number of international flights the airport now handles increasing by 60%.

Pakistan shut its airspace to commercial flights originating in India or transiting through Indian airspace soon after Indian jets targeted a Jaish-e-Mohammed facility at Balakot on February 26.  Read More

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