The Air India flights operating between Delhi and the US now take two-three hours extra due to the restrictions imposed by Pakistan on the airspace
New Delhi: Air India is emerging to be an unlikely victim of India-Pakistan hostilities as the national carrier has lost Rs 300 crore on its long haul flights from New Delhi to destinations in Europe, the Gulf and the US. In the aftermath of the Pulwama attack on February 14, Pakistan shut down its airspace for traffic to and from India and ever since long-haul flights to the said countries are taking longer to reach there.
Since airplanes are now in the air for a longer time, Air India is incurring a daily loss of Rs 6 crore on extra fuel burn, cabin staff and reduced flights.
Flights take 2-3 hours extra
The Air India flights operating between Delhi and the US now take two-three hours extra due to the restrictions imposed by Pakistan on the airspace. Flights to Europe, too, are taking about two hours extra to get to their destination.
Air India approaches ministry for compensation
The national carrier has taken the matter up with the civil aviation ministry to ensure it is compensated for the loss. “Air India has communicated to us about this. It is being taken up with all concerned,” a Ministry official said.
Other airlines impacted by the closure
Almost all the air traffic between South East Asia and Europe and the US has been impacted by the closure as flights would pass through north India into Pakistan and onwards. American carrier United has also temporarily suspended its Delhi-Newark flight and is monitoring the situation. German carrier Lufthansa had also earlier said that connecting flights to Bangkok and Singapore would also be hit apart from operations to India due to the closure of Pakistani airspace.