Pakistan’s airspace ban on all transit flights to continue till June 15

10:45 PM | 29 May, 2019
Pakistan’s airspace ban on all transit flights to continue till June 15
ISLAMABAD – Pakistan has extended the ban on the use of its airspace for all transit flights from May 30 to June 15, according to a notice to airmen, or a NOTAM, issued on Wednesday.

The earlier NOTAM had said that the ban will continue till May 30.

The decision to close the airspace has led to flight cancellations, delays and soaring ticket prices as Pakistan lies in the middle of a vital aviation corridor.

Foreign carriers using Indian airspace have been forced to take costly detours because they cannot fly over Pakistan and this mainly affects flights from Europe to Southeast Asia.

National carrier Air India has also seen a daily loss of Rs 5-7 crore due to the added fuel costs and longer routes, according to The Hindu.

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The ban has been in place since February this year following the Indian violation of international border.

On Feb 26, India said it launched airstrikes in Pakistan territory in the first such incursion by Indian air force planes since the India-Pakistan war of 1971.

The next day, Pakistan Air Force shot down two Indian fighter jets over the disputed border region of Kashmir, in retaliation to the botched airstrikes.

Following the PAF strikes, India confirmed the loss of one plane (MiG-21 Bison) and said it shot down a Pakistani jet (F-16) as it responded to the incident. However, the Indian claim was later debunked by US officials who said that they have counted the number of Pakistan Air Force F-16s in service and can say that none were lost to the Indian Air Force on Feb 27 this year.

Pakistan also captured an Indian pilot, Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman, and to India’s fury, published a video of him. He was later handed over to India authorities.