New Delhi | Jagran News Desk: Pakistan on Wednesday declined to allow the use of its airspace for the direct flights connecting Jammu and Kashmir's Srinagar to Sharjah in the United Arab Emirates. According to news agency ANI, quoting government sources, Islamabad has raised concerns over the use of its airspace. Meanwhile, relevant Indian ministries are looking into the matter to resolve the issue.

"Pakistan has refused its airspace use to Go First's Srinagar-Sharjah flight. It has raised concerns over the use of their airspace. Matter reported to the concerned ministries; MoCA (Ministry of Civil Aviation), MEA (Ministry of External Affairs) and MHA (Ministry of Home Affairs) looking into it," Government source as quoted by ANI said.

Re-routing of flights from Srinagar to the United Arab Emirates (to ensure it doesn't cross Pakistani airspace) adds over an hour of flying time, rising fuel and ticket costs. Earlier in 2009, the Srinagar-Dubai flight service was called off following low demand after Pakistan closed its airspace for the movement of flights from India.

Reacting to the denial of Pakistan to use its airspace, former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister Omar Abdullah termed the decision 'unfortunate'. Taking to Twitter, he said: "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."

On October 23, the inaugural Srinagar-Sharjah flight, operated by Go First, was flagged off by Union Home Minister Amit Shah from the Sheikh-ul-Alam International Airport. The flight revived direct air links between the Kashmir Valley and the United Arab Emirates after 11 years.

(With ANI Inputs)

Posted By: Talibuddin Khan