India and Pakistan are working to mend long-troubled relations and have agreed to lift restrictions on air services.

India from 1 January 2002 barred Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) from entering its airspace in retaliation for a December 2001 terrorist attack on India's parliament building, which the New Delhi government blamed on Pakistan. Its neighbour immediately responded by barring Indian carriers from its airspace.

On 1 December, India and Pakistan agreed to resume flights between the two countries and to allow overflights again from the beginning of January.

The two-year ban forced Air India to reroute flights to points in the Middle East, Europe and the USA, bypassing Pakistani airspace. It says this added as much as one hour to flying times, leading to Rs400 million ($8.8 million) in additional costs a year.

As Air India resumes flying through Pakistani airspace, PIA and Indian Airlines are looking to relaunch passenger services between the two countries.

Source: Airline Business