Pakistan has extended the closure of its eastern airspace for all transit flights till July 26 amid tensions with India, the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) said on Saturday.
According to a CAA spokesperson, Pakistani airspace will remain closed for over-flight and transit flights until the issuance of new orders. However, flight operations will continue as per routine on the Eastern Air Side and the Western airspace
Pakistan took the decision to shut its airspace on February 27, sending India a strong message and forcing carriers to reroute flights, after an aerial dogfight between Pakistan and Indian air forces.
Since the Feb 27 air combat, the closure of Pakistan’s eastern airspace has been consistently extending, while flight operations on the other sides remain functional.
Pakistan had granted special permission to the request of India to let its Minister for External Affairs Sushma Swaraj overflight. According to media reports, Sushma Swaraj’s flight was permitted to use Pakistani airspace as the Indian minister was scheduled to attend Shanghai Cooperation Organisation session in Bishkek on May 21.
In the wake of airspace closure, Indian media reports say that the flights of several airlines around the world have been either re-routed or canceled, with as many as 400 flights being affected on a daily basis. Out of all the airlines, Air India is one of the worst-hit airlines.