Four airline operators - Air India, IndiGo, Jet Airways and Spice Jet - operate flights to the Gulf. These flights usually fly over Pakistan - a much circuitous route instead of over the Arabian Sea.
Indian airlines have asked the government’s permission to fly to the Gulf from airports in Western India, mainly Ahmedabad, over the Arabian Sea as they don’t want to fly over Pakistan. The airlines’ request to the Centre comes in light of security fears due to the recent deterioration of India-Pakistan ties. Four airline operators – Air India, IndiGo, Jet Airways and Spice Jet – operate flights to the Gulf. These flights usually fly over Pakistan – a much circuitous route instead of over the Arabian Sea. According to a report, SpiceJet, in its request to the government, has asked permission to operate its flights out of Ahmedabad to the Gulf under the “flexi-use of airspace”. Flexi-use of airspace allows commercial aircraft to use airspace reserved for the air force and the navy.
However, SpiceJet’s official reason for this requeian Sea would help the airline operatst was to save fuel and route navigation flight charges (RNFC). In its request, SpiceJet said that the direct route over the Arabor save money per flight and will help reduce carbon emissions. However, the defence authorities have not yet given their nod to the request for direct access as it involves flying over some sensitive areas. An aviation ministry official was quoted in the report as saying that the government has received many requests and that there has been some progress in the matter.