There are a total of 26 private airlines operating in India. Some airlines have more than 100 aircraft each. Jet Airways are in huge debts. One of the reasons for this is, European and transatlantic flights had to be diverted on much longer routes owing to airspace closure. This cost Jet Airways are in billions because of the frequency of its flights.

In Pakistan, Shaheen Air has closed down, while Serene Air has been barely surviving on three aircraft and is just a domestic airline. Air Blue has been surviving on wet lease aircraft with frequent flight cancellations. So other than PIA, running on heavy losses and surviving on huge government subsidies, we have no other airline. This is in a country with a population of 220 million with a mass of travelling public.

The new aviation policy is a shot in the arm. A lot more needs to be done to bring us at par with India. As private carriers pick-up, there will be economic activity, jobs will be created and revenue will be generated. The grounding of 370 Boeing 737-800 Max aircraft and the uncertainty about the orders of thousands of more Boeing 737-800 Max on the assembly line after the two fatal accidents made Boeing suffer losses in billions of dollars and it could have gone bankrupt. What saved Boeing was the US government support.

Hopefully, those sitting at the helm of Pakistan get this message.

HIBA MOHSIN,

Karachi, May 5.