News Alerts

27 Mar 2019 | 04:59 PM UTC

Pakistan: Airspace remains closed to transit flights until March 28 /update 24

Pakistan News Alert

Pakistani authorities extend airspace closure to transit flights until March 28; some flight routes resume operations as of March 26

TIMEFRAME expected from 3/27/2019, 12:00 AM until 3/29/2019, 11:59 PM (Asia/Karachi). COUNTRY/REGION Pakistan

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Event

The Pakistan Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) reportedly amended its airspace restrictions on Tuesday, March 26, allowing domestic and international flights from all airports. A spokesperson for the CAA indicated flights to New Delhi (India), Bangkok (Thailand), and Kuala Lumpur (Malaysia) would remain suspended until further notice. 

According to the Notice to Airmen (NOTAM) published by the CAA on Wednesday, March 27, the general closure of the country's airspace to international transit flights remains in effect until at least 15:00 (local time) on Thursday, March 28. Flight operations are active, subject to restrictions, at Jinnah International Airport (KHI), Peshawar International Airport (PEW), Quetta International Airport (UET), and Islamabad International Airport (ISB). An extension of the airspace closure is possible should tensions between India and Pakistan escalate.

Context

The CAA closed Pakistani airspace on 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 suspected Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) camp near Balakot (Pakistan) on February 26. JeM claimed responsibility for a suicide vehicle-borne improvised explosive device (SVBIED) attack in Pulwama district (Jammu and Kashmir state) on February 14, which killed at least 40 Indian paramilitary officers. India has accused Pakistan of supporting the assailants. The Indian airstrikes initiated a series of retaliatory airstrikes and artillery fire near the Line of Control (LoC).

India and Pakistan both claim sovereignty over Kashmir, which has been the focus of periodic violent conflict since 1947.

Advice

Individuals traveling via Pakistan are advised to monitor the situation, maintain flexible itineraries, and contact their airlines for more information.

 

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