Local airlines are taking longer routes for their flights from Lahore to Karachi in order to avoid the eastern airspace amid tensions with India.
As a result, these flights take at least an hour longer than the usual time, causing trouble and restlessness for many passengers.
According to the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA), the Pakistani airspace has been fully reopened which was closed last week due to the worsening security situation with the neighboring country.
But, a passenger Mohammad Khan, who flew to Karachi from Lahore via Serene Air reported that the flight took two-and-a-half hours to reach the destination- at least an hour longer than the usual time.
He said the pilot had informed them at the start of the flight that he was going to take a longer route so as to avoid restlessness among people.
According to the pilot, he was instructed by the airline authorities to take the longer route, without identifying the reason, said Khan.
Similarly, Pakistan International Airlines’ (PIA) flight PK-303 from Lahore also took the same route to arrive in Karachi.
If you take a look at Tuesday’s arrival data at major Pakistani airports, it shows almost all the flights avoided the straight routes to and from the cities in eastern Punjab as well as Islamabad.
When contacted, a CAA official confirmed that the airspace was reopened but with ‘restrictions’.
“Yes the straight route which was followed previously for Lahore to Karachi, for example, is no longer being followed. Airports have been opened for travel but with restricted entry and exit,” he explained.
He said the passengers should expect longer flights due to precautionary measures.