Airlines in India have sought permission from the government to fly to the Middle East from airports in the western part of the country, in an effort to avoid Pakistani airspace.

The airlines aim to fly over the Arabian Sea in order to reduce costs and allay security fears over the deterioration of India-Pakistan relations.

Several private airlines, including Jet Airways, SpiceJet and government carrier Air India, operate flights to Middle East through the Pakistan airspace.

"That is what is most exciting for us, is how these fuels that are developed here can be used not only for ourselves, but in private industry as well."

The route through Pakistan is longer than the one over the Arabian Sea, and the government's approval would therefore save time, fuel and route navigation flight charges for the carriers.

Budget carrier SpiceJet has sought to fly from Ahmedabad airport under a 'flexi-use of airspace' option, which enables commercial aeroplanes to use airspace meant for the air force and the navy.

This route would enable SpiceJet to save Rs100,000 and reduce its carbon emissions.

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The requests from several airlines are yet to be approved by defence authorities, as they involve flying over certain sensitive areas.

An aviation ministry source was quoted by Times of India as saying: "We are getting lot of requests from airlines for direct point-to-point routes and are focusing on flexi use of airspace for that. There has been significant progress on that and a lot is still to be done."