ISLAMABAD, APR 5 – The coronavirus knows no borders but amid the death and disease, it is helping bring people together.
It recently created a moment of camaraderie between neighbours and longtime rivals Pakistan and India. When a special Air India flight evacuating European nationals from India to Frankfurt crossed over Pakistan, it received a special message from an Air Traffic Controller.
“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 told.
When the flight entered Pakistan’s flight information region they received a greeting from the Karachi control welcoming their relief flight to Frankfurt.
Once the flight confirmed its position and was cleared to exit the space, the air controller gave them a special message.
“We are proud of you that in a pandemic situation you are operating flights. Good luck!”
When the captain commanding the special flights told the Pakistani ATC he could get the radar for the Iranian airspace, Pakistan conveyed the Indian jet’s position to the Tehran sirspace controller and provided details of the two special flights.
After crossing Pakistan’s airspace, the special flight entered Iran. The captain told that he had never seen Iran giving a direct route of 1,000 miles in his entire career. A special dispensation was granted for relief flights.