THE air corridor over Pakistan has been closed since Feb 27 when tensions between Pakistan and India rose to new heights. Foreign air carriers carrying passengers from west to east and vice versa, had no alternative except take a longer route. Thereafter, some foreign airlines discontinued their flights to cities like Lahore, Islamabad and Peshawar because the flights are unprofitable.
On the other hand this has come as a blessing in disguise for local carriers who have increased their fares substantially. Furthermore, they do not have enough aircraft to cater to the needs of a nation of 200 million people.
The other downside of fewer aircraft means less or no connectivity between the various cities of the country which results in exorbitant fares and lack of healthy competition.
It has become a daunting task for passengers to book seats and they have no other option but to use rail and road transport. The government needs to look into this matter.
Published in Dawn, May 11th, 2019