Air India suffers 3 billion losses that Pakistan airspace closes

The airspace has remained closed to traffic to and from India, since hostilities broke out over the Pulwama attack.

Air India has lost around $ 3 billion (Rs300 crore) since late February, when New Delhi's long-haul flights take longer to reach destinations in Europe, the Gulf, and the United States due to the closure of Pakistan's airspace. 19659003] The Pakistani airspace has remained closed to traffic to and from India since the hostilities broke out between the two countries following the Pulwama suicide bombing in Jammu and Kashmir on 14 February.

With the aircraft operating from New Delhi taking longer in the air, Air India causes daily losses of Rs6 crore on additional fuel combustion, cabins' staffing expenses and reduced flights.

The national airline has approached the Ministry of Aviation to ensure that it is compensated for the loss given that the airline cannot withdraw these flights due to various obligations.

"Air India has communicated to us about this. It is being addressed with everyone involved," said a ministry official. [1[ads1]9659003] Air India flights to the US from Delhi now take 2-3 hours extra one-way due to the restrictions over the Pakistani airspace. Flights to Europe take almost two hours, resulting in financial losses.

Closing the airspace as a result of an air raid by the Indian Air Force at Jaish-e-Mohamnad (JeM) the terrorist camp in Pakistan's Balakot on February 27 has affected most airlines from Europe and the United States that operate flights to and from New Delhi.

Almost all of the air traffic from Southeast Asia to Europe has also been affected as they would pass through northern India to Pakistan and beyond.

US airlines United have temporarily suspended the flight from Delhi-Newark and are monitoring the situation.

Germany's airline Lufthansa had previously said that connections to Bangkok and Singapore would also be affected in addition to operations in India.

"We are already in the process of preparing adjusted routes and will increase the amount of extra fuel in case of delays. Some traffic rights for the new routing must also be secured," the airline said about the closure of Pakistani airspace.

An air-India official said the airline has significant operations to Europe and North America and the flight diversion due to the closure of Pakistani airspace has so far caused a total loss of around Rs3b.

"Losses due to payload limitation and cancellation alone are about Rs 2.75 crore per day. The longer flight time has affected the working hours of cabin crew and pilots," he said.

"The other airlines have the opportunity to extract services in such a situation, but as the national carrier we cannot do that," added the official.

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