â€˜Assalaam Alaikum! We are proud of you': Karachi ATC praises Air India relief flight as it passes Pakistan airspace
New Delhi/IBNS: National carrier Air India, which has been working relentlessly amid coronavirus scare to rescue Indians stranded in different parts of the world, recently, had praise coming from an unexpected quarter, said a media report.
According to an ANI report, the Indian government is operating regular Air India flights to bring back civilians from coronavirus-stricken Europe and supply them with adequate relief material. In order to ensure that, Air India planes have to pass through Pakistani airspace while flying to and from Europe.
When a plane passes through the airspace of a country, its Air Traffic Control(ATC) communicates details of airspace clearance.
Recently, during one such trip, the Air India flight was in for a surprise when it entered the Karachi airspace. The pilot of the plane received unexpected praise from an ATC Controller in Pakistan.
“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,” one of the senior captains of the special flights was quoted as saying by ANI.
“As we entered Pakistan’s Flight Information Region, the Pakistan Air Traffic Controller greeted us with ‘Assalaam Alaikum! This is Karachi’s control welcoming Air India for relief flights to Frankfurt,'” the Pakistan ATC said, the report added.
The ANI reported, after receiving confirmation from the Air India Captain that it was a relief flight for Frankfurt, the ATC Controller said, "We are proud of you that in a pandemic situation you are operating flights, Good Luck!"
When the Air India captain told the Pakistan ATC that it could not get connection to the next radar for the Iranian airspace, Pakistan communicated the coordinates of the Air India aircraft to the Tehran airspace.
In another surprise, when the special aircraft entered the Iranian airspace, the Middle Eastern country gave a direct route of over 1000 miles, said the ANI report.
“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,” the AI pilot was quoted as saying by the news agency.