Pak extends airspace closure to June 15

Pak extends airspace closure to June 15

Pakistan has again extended the closure of its airspace with India until June 15, according to its civil aviation authority.

Islamabad fully closed its airspace in February after an Indian Air Force strike on a Jaish terror camp at Balakot. It  opened its airspace for all flights except for New Delhi, Bangkok and Kuala Lumpur, on March 27.

On May 15, Pakistan extended its airspace ban for flights to India till May 30. According to a notice issued to airmen by the Civil Aviation Authority, Pakistan's airspace along the eastern border with India will remain closed until 5 am on June 15.

As per a separate notice (NOTAM) issued by the CAA, the Panjgoor airspace would remain open for overflying transit flights from the western side as Air India had already been using that airspace.

Pakistan had given a special permission for External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj to fly directly through Pakistani airspace to attend the SCO meet in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan, on May 21. The airspace for other  airliners remained closed.

As a result, foreign carriers using Indian airspace have been forced to take costly detours because they cannot fly over Pakistan. This mainly affects flights from Europe to Southeast Asia. The flights from the US and Europe in and out of New Delhi were the worst affected. Thousands suffer flight cancellations, delays and soaring ticket prices due to the Pakistan decision.

Pakistan Aviation Minister Ghulam Sarwar Khan had said that due to closure of eastern side airspace, Pakistan was suffering lesser loss compared to India as Indian flights had to take longer routes for Europe.

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