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Pakistan opens airspace for all flights

Updated March 27, 2019

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Now flight operations for international and domestic routes will be resumed but transit flights will stay suspended.— AFP/File
Now flight operations for international and domestic routes will be resumed but transit flights will stay suspended.— AFP/File

RAWALPINDI: Pakistan on Tuesday opened its airspace for all domestic and international flights after keeping it closed for 28 days because of escalation in tensions with India.

The country had partially resumed flight operations from Islamabad, Karachi, Peshawar and Quetta earlier this month.

Now flight operations from all airports for international and domestic routes will be resumed as per schedule, but transit flights will stay suspended.

Take a look: Thousands were stranded due to Pakistan's airspace closures. I was one of them

Flight operations were suspended after Pakistan closed its airspace on Feb 27 for all international and domestic flights in the wake of the security situation.

The Civil Aviation Authority had issued notices to all airmen about the closure of the country’s airspace.

Earlier this month, Pakistan had resumed limited flight operations from Islamabad, Karachi, Peshawar and Quetta after closing it for about one week. Later, restricted flight operations were also allowed at the Allama Iqbal International Airport.

PIA spokesman Mashood Tajwar said that after opening of the airspace on Tuesday, Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) resumed its flights on all airports of the country as its flights to and from Lahore to Islamabad PK-652, PK-651, PK-650 and PK-653 operated as per schedule. He further said that PIA flights to and from Karachi to Multan PK-580 and PK-581 would also operate according to the schedule.

The spokesman said that PIA flights to and from Karachi-Sukkur PK-536 and PK-537 would also operate as per schedule. He also said that the national flag carrier’s flights for Bahawalpur, Rahim Yar Khan and D.G. Khan had also resumed operations, but flights for Sialkot would be resumed on March 28 after repair work on the Sialkot airport’s runway was completed.

A fresh notice to airmen said that flight operations to and from following airports in Pakistan shall remain available as per operation hours from Islamabad Inter­national Airport, Karachi, Lahore, Peshawar, Quetta, Faisalabad and Multan.

However, flights for Bangkok, Kuala Lumpur and New Delhi will not operate due to security reasons.

Published in Dawn, March 27th, 2019