Pakistan opens airspace for civilian traffic

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Pakistan on Tuesday opened its airspace for all civilian traffic removing the ban on Indian flights that were not allowed to use its airspace, sources said.

Pakistan Civil Aviation Authority issued a notice to airmen (NOTAM), stating “with immediate effect Pakistan airspace is open for all type of civil traffic on published ATS (air traffic service) routes.”

Pakistan had imposed ban on its airspace after the Indian Air Force (IAF) carried out aerial airstrikes on Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) terrorist training camp in Balakot on February 26.

The strikes on the terror camp were in retaliation to the JeM terror attack in Jammu and Kashmir’s Pulwama on February 14, in which at least 40 CRPF personnel lost their lives.

Since then, Pakistan had opened two routes, both of them passing through the southern region, of the total 11.

The IAF in May had announced that all temporary restrictions imposed on the Indian airspace after the Balakot strike had been removed. But it did not help most commercial airlines and they were waiting for Pakistan to fully open its airspace.