Soon after pakistan opened its airspace for all commercial airlines on Tuesday morning, Air india said operation costs for the one-way US and Europe-bound flights are likely to decline by Rs 20 lakh and Rs 5 lakh, respectively. Ever since Pakistani airspace was closed, we had to re-route our flights to the south of pakistan. The flying time for long haul flights towards the USA increased by 90 minutes and it also resulted in addition usage of fuel.
Due to the closure, the US-bound flights had to be stopped at Vienna. In Vienna, the crew was changed and it took 3 hours. As pakistan airspace has now opened, aircraft utilization will go up while crew requirement will come down by 25 per cent. After pakistan closed its airspace following the Balakot airstrikes of February 26, Air india suffered a financial loss of over Rs 491 crore as it had to re-route its various international flights.
Post the airstrikes, Air india had to re-route, merge or suspend many of its international flights that connect india with European and US cities. Private airlines SpiceJet, IndiGo and GoAir lost Rs 30.73 crore, Rs 25.10 crore and Rs 2.10 crore respectively, data presented by the civil aviation minister stated. "As pakistan airspace is now open, aircraft utilization will go up, while crew requirement will come down by 25 per cent," an Air india spokesperson said.