Operating special flights from India to Frankfurt in wake of COVID-19 pandemic, Air India received unexpected praise from the Air Traffic Controller (ATC) of Pakistan, which said ”We’re proud of you” to the Air India Captain.
Here is the message exchange between Pak ATC & Air India
As the Air India flight entered Pakistan’s Flight Information Region (FIR), the Pakistan Air Traffic Controller (ATC) greeted the captain saying, “‘Assalaam Alaikum!’ This is Karachi’s control welcoming Air India for relief flights to Frankfurt.”
The Pak ATC further enquired if Air India was operating relief flights to Frankfurt. The Air India captain replied as “AFFIRM” to the ATC’s question.
PAK ATC responded, “You are cleared direct to exit point Kebud request estimate crossing Kebud.” The Air India captain replied, “Cleared direct Kebud, Thank you.”
At this moment, Pakistan’s ATC said: “We are proud of you that in a pandemic situation you are operating flights, Good Luck!”
The Pakistan ATC also helped the Air India Captain in coordinating with the Iran Airspace and giving the exact details of the flight to Iran.
“Proud moment for us”, said the Air India captain
Following the exchange, the senior Air India captain said that this incident happened probably for the first time in their careers.
He said: “It was a very proud moment for me as well as the entire Air India crew when we heard from Pakistan ATC praising our special flight operations to Europe.”
Air India also operated another flight, apart from the one which reached Frankfurt with the stranded European citizens.