Air India has been receiving messages of praise from several countries, the latest one from Pakistan.
The Air Traffic Control in the country not only welcomed Air India flights into its airspace but also appreciated the work the airline is doing in these uncertain times, reports stated.
On Thursday last, Air India operated two flights from Mumbai to Frankfurt in Germany.
These flights carried relief materials and European nationals stranded in India after the country-wide lockdown announced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on March 24 last.
The flight after taking off from Mumbai entered Pakistan airspace.
While trying to contact Pakistan Air Traffic Control (ATC), the response surprised the pilots.
“As-salamu alaykum (Peace be upon you). This is Karachi Control welcoming Air India for relief flights,” the Air India ATC was quoted as saying.
“Confirm you are operating relief flights for Frankfurt,” the ATC then asked, to which the Air India pilot replied, ‘Affirm’, reports added.
According to Air India officials, the Pakistan ATC also told the pilots they were proud of them for operating flights at such difficult times.
The Air India was of the view that Pakistan ATC also saved the flight 15 minutes flying time by allowing them to fly closer to Karachi.
The Pakistan ATC’s helpful stance didn’t end there.
A short while later, when the Air India planes were entering Iran airspace but were unable to contact the authorities, Pakistan helped again.
The Air India flights also received praise and welcome from Turkish and German Air Traffic Controllers.
The national carrier is scheduled to operate 18 charter flights to repatriate German, French, Irish and Canadian nationals stuck in India, as requested by their respective embassies.
All flights, including ones bringing critical medical equipment from China, are being operated in adherence to safety protocols laid down by the Director General of Civil Aviation (DGCA).
Air India is also scheduled to operate cargo flights between Delhi and Shanghai to bring in critical medical equipment for India; these flights will run till April 9.