Go First flight from Srinagar to Sharjah may need to fly via Udaipur and Ahmedabad after the Pakistan government refused to let the private Indian airline use its airspace. This re-routing will make the journey longer by 40 minutes to an hour and will also cost more.
The Go First from Srinagar to Sharjah was inaugurated by Union Home Minister Amit Shah during a visit to the valley in October. This restoration of the connect between the Kashmir valley and UAE had happened after a hiatus of 11 years. The inaugural flight from Sheikh Ul Alam Airport in Srinagar was on 23 October and the flight journey was without impediment till 31 October, when all of a sudden the Pakistan government refused for the flight to use the country's airspace. Both Go First as well as Pakistan government have not responded to PTI's request in this matter. The last time that a flight flew between the Kashmir Valley and UAE was in 2009, when Air India discontinued its Srinagar-Dubai flight due to low demand.
"It is unfortunate. Pakistan did the same thing with the Air India Express flight from Srinagar to Dubai in 2009-2010. I had hoped that GoFirst Airways being permitted to fly over Pak airspace was indicative of a thaw in relations but alas that wasn't to be." - Omar Abdullah, Former Chief Minister of Jammu and Kashmir and National Conference leader.
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