Pakistani air traffic controllers guide Indian relief planes
Pakistan's Air Traffic Controller (ATC) has guided two Indian planes flying for Europe, sources in Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) said on Sunday, reported 24NewsHD TV channel.
Indian airlines Air India operated special flights from New Delhi and Mumbai to German city of Frankfurt with relief materials and evacuated European nationals, who were stranded in India as coronavirus swept across continents, perishing millions and crippling the system of passenger planes criss-crossing the world.
According to CAA sources, Pakistani air traffic controllers guided the Indian planes when they were flying over Karachi region airspace. Traffic controllers guided Indian special flights on direct route to the Frankfurt, praised their relief mission and wished them luck.
Both Indian pilots offered loads of thanks to the Pakistani air traffic controllers for guiding them to the direct route.
According to the Indian media, one of the senior captains of special flights told news agencies: "It was a very proud moment for me as well as the entire Air India crew when we heard from Pakistan ATC praising our special flight operations to Europe."
"As we entered in the Pakistan's Flight Information Region (FIR) and the Pakistan Air Traffic Controller (ATC) greeted us ' Assalam Alaikum!' This is Karachi's control welcoming Air India for relief flights to Frankfurt," the senior captain quoted the Pakistan ATC as saying.
"Confirm are you operating relief flights for Frankfurt," the Pak ATC further said.
"AFFIRM," said the Air India captain in Pakistan's airspace.
"You are cleared direct to exit point Kebud request estimate crossing Kebud (Exit)," came response from the ATC.
Air India captain replied, saying "Cleared direct Kebud, Thank you."
At this, the Pakistan ATC showered praise on Air India for carrying out the special relief flights.
"Thank you so much," responded the captain of India's national carrier.
More to it was when the AI commander of the special flight told Pakistan ATC that he could not find the radar for the Iran airspace, Pakistan conveyed the Indian jet's position to the Tehran airspace and provided details of the two AI special flights.
After Pakistan airspace, the special AI flight entered Iran. As the captain told the media, it had never happened before in his entire pilot career that the Middle East country had given a direct route of over 1,000 miles.
"First time in my entire career as pilot, Iran gave a direct routing for about 1000 miles a privilege guess enjoyed as special flights, in all especially in the recent tense situation in the Iranian airspace," he said.