–Indian social media users appreciate Pakistan’s gesture
ISLAMABAD: An Air India flight crew was left pleasantly surprised after an air traffic controller from Pakistan praised them for operating relief flights amid the coronavirus crisis.
Air India was operating special flights from India to Frankfurt with relief materials and evacuated European and Canadian nationals, who were stranded in India amid the coronavirus crisis.
According to a report by Asian News International (ANI), one of the captains operating the special flights said, “It was a very proud moment for me as well as the entire Air India crew when we heard Pakistan ATC praising our special flight operations to Europe.”
“As we entered in Pakistan’s Flight Information Region, the Pakistani air traffic controller greeted us ‘Assalaam Alaikum! This is Karachi’s control welcoming Air India for relief flights to Frankfurt’,” the senior captain quoted the Pakistani air traffic controller as saying.
After the necessary exchange of information between the captain and the air traffic controller, the operator from Pakistan praised Air India for their efforts.
“We are proud of you that in a pandemic situation you are operating flights, good luck,” the air traffic controller reportedly said.
“Thank you so much,” responded the captain, according to a report by news magazine India Today.
Furthermore, when the captain, who commanded the special flights, told the Pakistani air traffic controller about not getting the next radar for the Iran airspace, Pakistan conveyed the flight’s position to the Tehran airspace and provided details of the two Air India special flights. After Pakistan’s airspace, the special flight entered Iran.
The captain told ANI the captain said for the first time in his career, he had seen Iran giving a direct route of over 1,000 miles to aircraft of another country. The direct route of Iran’s airspace is strictly reserved for their defence purposes only and is rarely accessible by airlines of other countries, according to the publication.
“Before leaving Iran airspace, the Iranian air traffic controller also wished us ‘all the best’,” the captain told to ANI.
In order to curb the spread of coronavirus, India had announced a 21-days lockdown with no passenger air and rail traffic, leaving many foreigners stranded in several parts of the country.
Soon after the report was published, Indian social media users also appreciated the gesture shown by Pakistan.