Pakistan's Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) announced on Friday, March 1, that Pakistani airspace will remain partially closed until at least Monday, March 4. However, flight operations at Islamabad (ISB), Peshawar (PEW), Karachi (KHI), and Quetta (UET) airports are scheduled to resume at 18:00 (local time) on Friday, March 1. However, no commercial flights will operate to, from, or within Pakistan during this period from the other Pakistani airports. Lingering disruptions are likely to persist after the reopening of the airspace. Authorities closed the airspace on February 27 after the Pakistan Air Force (PAF) reportedly shot down two Indian Air Force (IAF) jets in Pakistani airspace in Azad Jammu and Kashmir earlier in the day.
Tensions significantly escalated between India and Pakistan after the IAF conducted airstrikes on a a suspected Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) camp near Balakot (Pakistan) on February 26. Indian officials claim the strikes were a "pre-emptive, non-military" strike in response to credible intelligence that JeM was planning another suicide attack in India. JeM recently claimed responsibility for a suicide vehicle-borne improvised explosive device (SVBIED) attack in Pulwama district (Jammu and Kashmir) on February 14, killing at least 40 Indian paramilitary officers. India has accused Pakistan of supporting the attackers. It was the deadliest terrorist attack in India since the 2008 Mumbai attacks.
India and Pakistan both claim sovereignty over Jammu and Kashmir, which has been the focus of periodic violent conflict since 1947.
Impacted travelers are advised to monitor developments to the situation and contact their airline for additional information.
Copyright and Disclaimer