KARACHI – The national flag carrier – Pakistan International Airlines – has cut down its flight operations from Karachi to Delhi and Mumbai due to poor traffic in the recent past, which indicates a fall in travel between the two countries following the Uri attack.

In a statement issued yesterday, PIA said: “Reference media queries regarding PIA’s flights to India, PIA spokesman has clarified that Lahore-Delhi flights are operating normally. However, due to very poor load during last three to four weeks, few of the Karachi-Delhi and Karachi-Mumbai are being cancelled.”

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“Passengers who had reservations on these cancelled flights have either been accommodated on PIA’s subsequent flights or rerouted to Pakistan through other airlines. Passengers facing any difficulty in getting reservations are advised to contact PIA offices in New Delhi and Mumbai,” the statement added.

While no Indian carrier flies to Pakistan, PIA is the only airline that flies directly between the two countries. Before Saturday’s decision, it had five flights a week to India – one on Delhi-Karachi route and two each on Delhi-Lahore and Mumbai-Karachi sectors.

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Pakistan has been imposing restrictions on flying over its airspace+ in Karachi and Lahore+. Indian carriers that fly abroad – Air India, Jet, IndiGo and SpiceJet – have had to change the routes+ of some of their flights.

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After the Uri attack, PMO had sought details of aviation ties between the two countries – which include direct flights and allowing airlines of one country to fly over the other.

Overflying is clearly the more critical part for airlines of both the countries. At the moment, almost all flight operated by Indian carriers to Gulf, Europe and North America from central, north and east India fly over Pakistan+. Similarly, PIA flies over India to Southeast Asia and Bangladesh.