Pakistan opens airspace, shut since Balakot air strike

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Islamabad: After being shut for months since Balakot strike, Pakistan has opened its airspace. The ban on Indian flights were imposed in February.

The Pakistan Civil Aviation Authority issued a notice to airmen NOTAM late on Monday night in this connection. The notice said :”with immediate effect Pakistan airspace is open for all type of civil traffic on published ATS (air traffic service) routes”.

Pakistan had closed its airspace after the Indian Air Force (IAF) fighter jets pounded a Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) terror camp in Balakot following the Pulwama attack in Jammu and Kashmir.

The Civil Aviation Minister Hardeep Singh Puri in a statement in Lok Sabha said the national carrier Air India has been incurring additional operating cost of nearly Rs 13 lakh per day due to re-routing of flights due to the closure of Pakistani airspace.

Last week, Pakistan refused to open its airspace for commercial flights from New Delhi, asking India to first remove its fighter jets from forward bases.

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