NEW DELHI : Increasing the flight time, Pakistan has closed down three air routes used by Air India for its international flights, IANS reported. Pakistan's move comes amid rising tension between India and Pakistan over revocation of Article 370 of the Indian Constitution that gave special status to Jammu and Kashmir.

IANS reported that Pakistan has closed down three out of nine air routes for Indian carriers. The move, second this year, would affect national carrier Air India's flights going to Europe, the US, and Middle East among others as flying time of around 50 flights will increase by about 10-15 minutes.

"The major route which we use for our long haul flights are still open and hence the impact is not much right now but we have got initial inputs that the remaining air routes will be shut. The impact will be huge as flying time for our ultra long haul flights using Pakistani airspace would increase by 2-3 hours," a senior Air India official told IANS.

Earlier in February as well, Pakistan had closed its airspace in the aftermath of the Balakot airstrike by the Indian Air Force.

Yesterday Pakistan had downgraded diplomatic ties with India and also suspended trade.

Pakistan is estimated to have lost about 850 crore in overflying charges from various carriers passing through its territory.

(IANS inputs)

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