Pakistan reopens airspace ending months of closure following India-Pakistan tension

- A Monitor Desk Report 16 Jul, 2019 | 1885 Views|-+
Dhaka: Pakistan’s airspace has been reopened for civil aviation with immediate effect following months of closure, announced the country’s aviation authority today.

Pakistan closed its airspace on February 26 after the Indian Air Force struck a training camp in Balakot in retaliation to the Pulwama attack by a Pakistan based militant group on a police convoy in Indian controlled Kashmir that killed 40 paramilitary police on February 14.

"With immediate effect Pakistan airspace is open for all type of civil traffic on published ATS (Air Traffic Service) routes," according to a Notice to Airmen (NOTAMS) published on the authority's website.

An official of the authority, reached by telephone, confirmed that the change was in effect.

Both countries carried out aerial attacks over the other's territory during the standoff and warplanes fought a brief dogfight over the skies of the disputed Kashmir region.

Partial operations at Pakistani airports resumed once tensions eased but restrictions continued to affect many international carriers using Pakistani airspace.

Pakistan lies in the middle of a vital aviation corridor and the airspace restrictions affected hundreds of commercial and cargo flights each day, adding to flight time for passengers and fuel costs for airlines.

The announcement came hours after United Airlines Holdings Inc said it was extending the suspension of its flights from the United States to Delhi and Mumbai in India until October 26, citing continued restrictions of Pakistani airspace.

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