Pakistan opens air space as tensions ease in the region

Pakistan has reopened its skies for civilian flights, which had been forced to make detours after the recent fighting between India and Pakistan over tensions and a military standoff in Kashmir earlier this year.

India has reportedly done the same. India’s ministry of civil aviation said that after the lifting of the NOTAMS, there were no further restrictions on airspace in either country.

On Tuesday morning, the Pakistani Civil Aviation Authority released a statement, saying it had issued a notice to airmen (NOTAM) just after midnight on Tuesday, that opens the Pakistani airspace for “all types of civilian traffic.” The order is applicable “with immediate effect.”

Pakistan closed its airspace in February after a standoff with India in the wake of an attack by a militant group on a police convoy in Indian-occupied Kashmir that killed 40 paramilitary police.

Both countries carried out aerial attacks over the other’s territory during the standoff and warplanes fought a brief dogfight over the skies of the disputed Kashmir region.

Partial operations at Pakistani airports resumed once tensions eased but restrictions continued to affect many international carriers using Pakistani airspace.

Pakistan lies in the middle of a vital aviation corridor and the airspace restrictions affected hundreds of commercial and cargo flights each day, adding to flight time for passengers and fuel costs for airlines.

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