At least 33 flights were canceled at Lahore's Allama Iqbal International Airport (LHE) on Monday, March 4, with several others delayed. Pakistan's Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) partially reopened the airspace for LHE, allowing for a resumption of some flights. Full operations are expected to resume on Friday, March 8. The CAA has not lifted the commercial airspace restriction for Multan International Airport (MUX) as of 11:00 (local time), though a resumption of service is expected later on Monday. Flight disruptions at LHE, MUX, and other Pakistani airports, including cancelations, delays, overbooking, and crowded conditions, are expected to persist for the next several days. A reclosure of Pakistani airspace is possible should conflict between India and Pakistan escalate.
The CAA closed Pakistani airspace on Wednesday, February 27, after a Pakistan Air Force (PAF) jet was shot down above Pakistan-controlled Azad Jammu and Kashmir.
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. 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. The airstrike initiated a series of retaliatory airstrikes and artillery fire near the Line of Control (LoC).
India and Pakistan both claim sovereignty over Jammu and Kashmir, which has been the focus of periodic violent conflict since 1947.
Individuals traveling to or from Pakistan are advised to monitor the situation, maintain flexible itineraries, and contact the airline for more information.
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