Pakistan airspace ban extended till June 15

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Islamabad | Pakistan has extended the closure of airspace on its border with India until 5 am on June 15, the country’s Civil Aviation Authority said issued to airmen. And in a separate notice, the CAA said the Panjgoor airspace would remain open for overflying transit flights from the western side as Air India had already been using that airspace, Dawn news reported.

Pakistan had given a special permission to India for External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj to fly directly though Pakistani airspace to participate in a Shanghai Coooperation Organisation meeting in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan, on May 21. However, the airspace for other commercial airliners remained closed.

Pakistan fully closed its airspace after an Indian strike on a Jaish-e-Mohammed terror camp in Balakot on February 26. 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.

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

On May 15, Pakistan extended its airspace ban for flights to India till May 30 as foreign flights using Indian airspace were not allowed to cross over Pakistan till May 30. It has been more than two and a half months since the airspace was closed for commercial flights but, there was no progress in lifting the ban either by Pakistan or India.

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