Pakistan's Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) reportedly closed three out of nine air routes for Indian carriers on Thursday, August 8, amid increasing tensions over ongoing disputes in Jammu and Kashmir. According to an Air India official, the current closure will only increase the flight times for around 50 flights by 10 to 15 minutes. Also, on Wednesday, August 7, the CAA announced that all foreign aircraft will be prohibited from flying lower than 14,020 m (46,000 ft) in Lahore region. The new regulations are expected to remain in place until at least Thursday, September 5.
Further closures or airspace regulations are possible in the near term and may result in significantly increased flying times or flight cancelations.
Tensions between Pakistan and India significantly increased after Indian Home Minister Amit Shah proposed to parliament on August 5 that Article 370 in the Constitution, which accords Jammu and Kashmir a special autonomous status, be revoked. He also proposed that Jammu and Kashmir be reorganized as a Union Territory with an Assembly, and Ladakh be a separate Union Territory with no legislature.
Pakistan's airspace was previously closed to Indian flights in February and reopened on July 16. This occurred following an Indian air strike against what it called a terrorist training camp in Pakistan.
Individuals traveling via Pakistan are advised to monitor the situation, maintain flexible itineraries, contact their airlines for further information regarding the new regulations and to reschedule bookings.
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