Omar Abdullah : Disallowing of airspace by Pakistan for Srinagar-Sharjah flight unfortunate

Insight Online News

Srinagar, Nov 3 : Former Chief Minister of Jammu and Kashmir Omar Abdullah on Wednesday termed the disallowing of airspace by Pakistan for the recently-launched Srinagar Sharjah flight as “very unfortunate.”

On October 23, Union Home Minister Amit Shah flagged off the first Srinagar-Sharjah flight from Srinagar.

“Very unfortunate. Pakistan did the same thing with the Air India Express flight from Srinagar to Dubai in 2009-2010. I had hoped that @GoFirstairways being permitted to overfly Pak airspace was indicative of a thaw in relations but alas that wasn’t to be,” Omar tweeted.

After the inauguration of Srinagar Sharjah flight, Omar had raised concern about the direct flight.

“Regarding the Srinagar-Sharjah flight that has been announced today – has Pakistan had a change of heart & allowed flights originating from Srinagar to use its airspace? If not then this flight will die the way the Srinagar-Dubai flight died during UPA2,” he had tweeted.

However, he wrote another tweet the same day saying the refusal of air space is a thing of the past. “Good to see the refusal of airspace usage is a thing of the past. Perhaps there is hope for relations between the two countries,” he tweeted.

Another former chief minister Mehbooba Mufti rubbed it on to the Centre. “Puzzling that GOI didn’t even bother securing permission from Pakistan to use its airspace for international flights from Srinagar. Only PR extravaganza without any groundwork,” she tweeted.

It is learnt that the refusal of using Pakistan airspace is likely to impact flyers and will also increase the duration of the flight by more than an hour.

After its inauguration, ‘Go First’, formerly known as `GoAir’ used to operate four flights a week- Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday, and Sunday- between Srinagar and Sharjah. The flight from Srinagar takes nearly four hours to reach Sharjah.

UNIINDIA

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