PAKISTAN lifted its ban on use of its airspace for all civilian flights through and from India .
“Pakistan has cancelled the notam (notice to airmen) for its airspace with effect from 0038 IST, consequential notams by India also cancelled. Airlines likely to resume normal routes through Pakistan airspace,” a government official said in New Delhi.
Turkish Airlines flight from Istanbul was the first airline to use the reopened route hours after the official announcement by Pakistan’s Civil Aviation Authority. The development comes as a relief to passengers who had to travel longer hours as well as pay exorbitant airfares as flights took a detour to avoid Pakistan.
The Civil Aviation Authority issued a notice to airmen stating that “with immediate effect Pakistan airspace is open for all type of civil traffic on published ATS (air traffic service) routes”
Pakistan had fully closed its airspace on February 26 after the Indian Air Force (IAF) struck a Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) terrorist training camp in Balakot in retaliation to the Pulwama attack on February 14. Since then, the neighbouring country had only opened two routes, both of them passing through the southern region, of the total 11.
the IAF had announced on May 31 that all temporary restrictions imposed on the Indian airspace post the Balakot strike had been removed. However, it did not benefit most of the commercial airliners and they were waiting for Pakistan to fully open its airspace.
the AIR INDIA had lost ₹491 crore till July 2 due to the closure of the Pakistan airspace. Private airlines SpiceJet, IndiGo and GoAir lost ₹30.73 crore, ₹25.1 crore and ₹2.1 crore, respectively, according to the data presented by Civil Aviation Minister Hardeep Singh Puri in the Rajya Sabha on July 3.