Amid ongoing tensions between India and Pakistan, Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) has decided to suspend its flight between Karachi and Mumbai from Monday, according to a senior official. The PIA official told news agency PTI that the decision was taken in respect to “commercial considerations”.
“There will be no PIA flight between Karachi to Mumbai and Mumbai to Karachi from April 8. The PIA has stopped booking for flights on this route,” the official said.
The Karachi-Mumbai flight, which operated twice in a week, on Mondays and Thursdays, saw extremely low traffic on the route, the official added. “Since we have been bearing financial loss on this route for the last six months or so we have arrived at a decision to suspend this route,” he said. The official added that the route will only be revived if the government decided to pay special subsidies to maintain it. The official also clarified that the flight between Lahore-Delhi will continue as usual because of satisfactory traffic on the route, and might see additional traffic due to the suspension of Karachi-Mumbai flight.
The decision to suspend the flight came amid heightened tensions between India and Pakistan over the beheading and mutilation of two Indian soldiers across Line of Control by Pakistan military forces. But PIA officials have denied rumours that strained bilateral relations between the two nations has played any factor in the decision. “The reasons behind the move are purely commercial,” PIA spokesperson Danyal Gillani said.