New Delhi: Indian carriers are increasingly seeking the government’s nod to fly to the Gulf from western India (mainly Ahmedabad) over the Arabian Sea to avoid the circuitous route over Pakistan. Security fears due to deteriorating India-Pakistan ties as well as economic factors are driving the requests. Air India, Jet Airways, IndiGo and SpiceJet operate flights to Gulf over Pakistan.
“In the past few days, India has asked some non-scheduled aircraft flying from Pakistan to return and Pakistan may also retaliate. This is one fear that is behind the demand and the other is pure and simple cost factors,” said an airline official.
Defence authorities are yet to give clearance to the direct access as it involves flying over some sensitive areas