Airblue gets permission to fly from Sharjah

By Muhammad Yasir

KARACHI: Sharjah authorities have given green signal to Airblue for carrying out its flight operations between Sharjah and Pakistan, official sources in Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) told Daily Times.

Airblue was scheduled to launch its Sharjah operations on Pakistan’s Independence Day.

Sources told the Sharjah’s national airlines, Air Arabia forced its authorities to withheld airport access for Airblue as it wanted to enhance its market share of Pakistani passengers.

They added the CAA intervened into the matter on the request of Airblue and negotiated with the DCA on the basis of bilateral Air Service Agreement (ASA) to resolve the issue.

Official added the DCA, however, did not agree to allow operating two daily flights, which the Airblue had been granted earlier.

Hundreds of passengers had to be diverted to Dubai after Pakistan’s largest private carrier was denied access to Sharjah International Airport.

The company had sold more than 1,000 tickets for its two destinations in Pakistan, and those passengers were diverted to Dubai, where Airblue operates 21 flights a week to various destinations in Pakistan.

“We suffered a loss of about $3 million,” Managing Director Airblue Syed Nasir Ali said. “This the first time we have failed to deliver what we had promised.”

But, they added, CAA pointed out DCA about the violation of negotiated terms between the authorities of the two countries and asked to restore Airblue’s access in Sharjah at the earliest.

Source: Daily Times, 10/10/2008

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