Pakistan reopen’s airspace for Civilian air traffic

The Indian Civil Aviation authority has notified all airlines and airmen that the Pakistani Airspace is now open for all civil traffic that is published on Air Traffic Service (ATS) routes.

Why was the airspace closed?

Following the airstrike by the Indian Air Force carried on February 26 on the Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) terrorist training camp in Balakot in retaliation to the Pulwama attacks in Jammu & Kashmir on February 14, Pakistan had fully closed its airspace on for all air traffic, military, civil and otherwise.

What happened due to the airspace closure?

  • Several Indian airlines suffered major loses in revenue and aircraft utilization due to the airspace closure.
  • For example, India’s flag carrier, Air India had to re-route, merge or suspend many of its international flights that connected mainland India with several major European and U.S. cities.
  • India s largest airline by domestic market share, the IndiGo was not able to initiate direct flights from Delhi to Istanbul due to the closure of the Pakistan airspace and was forced to take the longer route over the Arabian Sea and make a stop at Doha in Qatar for refueling.
  • Even in monetary terms, Air India had suffered a huge loss in revenue and had to spend more on aviation turbine fuel as the aircraft were forced to fly longer routes.

Does Pakistan benefit from opening its airspace?

Yes, Pakistan charges all airlines using its airspace. The charges are given for air traffic control service, for overflights and any emergency handling, if necessary. By closing its airspace, Pakistan was losing the revenue it earned from overflying charges.

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