Lahore, May 16: Pakistan has on Wednesday extended its airspace ban for international flights to India until May 30 as no progress, in this respect, has been yet made at the bilateral level. International flights from India are also banned from entering Pakistani airspace.
Pakistan had fully closed its airspace on February 26 following the violation of its foreign boundary and airspace by IAF fighter jets. The development made after one of the worst terror attacks, Pulwama terror attack, on February 14, claimed by Pakistani based and backed Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) chief Masood Azhar, which claimed the lives of 44 CRPF personnel.
A Pakistani civil aviation authority official told Dawn, “Pakistan on Wednesday reviewed lifting of its airspace ban for Indian flights and decided to extend it till May 30.”
After the decision, the CAA issued notice to pilots (NOTAM) to inform them about the route/flight guidelines till May 30.
The official said, “The government will again review the matter on May 30.” India has also halted its airspace for international flights to Pakistan.
“It has been more than two-and-a-half-months but there is no progress in lifting of the ban either by Pakistan or India. It is surprising that no backchannel diplomacy is used to show flexibility on this matter that is causing huge losses to both Indian and Pakistani flag carriers as well as foreign airlines,” an official said.
He insisted the banning of airspace should be under international issue instead of a bilateral issue.