Islamabad, May 29: Terror attacks soiling from Pakistan has just fuelled the ever increasing tensions between the two countries. Pakistani airspace on its eastern border with India will remain closed until June 14 owing to the latest extension months after a stand-off between the arch rivals.
Pakistan closed its airspace in February after a suicide attack by a Pakistan-based militant group in Kashmir led to aerial bombing missions on each other's soil and a fighter dogfight over Kashmir. Foreign carriers using Indian airspace have been forced to take costly detours because they cannot fly over Pakistan. The closure mainly affects flights from Europe to Southeast Asia.
Pakistan lies in the middle of a vital aviation corridor and the airspace restrictions impact hundreds of commercial and cargo flights each day, adding flight time for passengers and fuel costs for airlines.
Pakistan has fully closed its airspace after an Indian Air Force strike on a Jaish-e-Mohammed terror camp in Balakot on February 26. However, Pakistan opened its airspace for all flights except for New Delhi, Bangkok and Kuala Lumpur on March 27.
“The top officials of Defence and Aviation Ministries held a meeting on Wednesday to reconsider opening its airspace for Indian flights. They decided that Pakistan’s airspace will remain banned for the Indian flights till May 30,” a senior Pakistan government official said.
He said the Civil Aviation Authority has also notified the decision to the airmen. The authority issued a notification (Notam) after the meeting to pilots, advising them of circumstances relating to the state of flying.