Airspace should not be closed at whims & fancies of Pakistan: SpiceJet chief Ajay Singh – Times of India

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NEW DELHI: An Indian carrier has officially raised the issue of Pakistan shutting its airspace for over four months for overflying earlier this year and constantly doling out that threat every now and then, at a United Nations forum. SpiceJet CMD Ajay Singh raised the issue of the neighbour’s “whims and fancies” while speaking at UN’s SDG Climate Summit in New York on Sunday.
Pakistan had closed its airspace for overflying of all flights on February 27 following Indian Air Force’s Balakot strike, forcing all flights between parts of south Asia with Delhi at its heart and the west taking a longer route. It had re-opened the same after 138 days on July 16.

“A disturbing phenomenon of late has been the decision of a member state, Pakistan, to deny overflying rights over its airspace. We must make sure that such decisions are not dependent on the whims and fancies of any member. Closing airspace results in airlines not only burning more fuel but also results in higher carbon emissions. Several Central Asian airlines as well as those providing connectivity to Europe and the United States from Southeast Asia were forced to cancel their flights to India due to the ban by our neighbour recently,” Singh said.

SpiceJet, which was the first Indian carrier to operate a trial flight using bio fuel-blended ATF, plans to have all electric ground vehicles at airports. “So while we flew just 1 flight out of the 1,50,000 flown on biofuels so far, we have committed that by 2030, India will fly a hundred million of its passengers, the same number of total passengers that we flew in 2015, using safe aviation fuels,” Singh said.

He added: “While aviation contributes only a minuscule percentage of greenhouse gasses, it remains a strong and visible symbol of our times…. quickly adopting new aircraft technology that burns 20% less fuel for every flight flown. We do this every day by advising our pilots the optimum heights at which to fly, the optimum speed at which to fly and remind them to use only a single engine while taxing at airports. We do this by ensuring that all ground vehicles will be electric.”

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