Flight restrictions across Pakistan are easing as of Thursday, March 7, with the country's airspace currently scheduled to be completely reopened at 13:00 (local time) on Friday, March 8, according to Pakistan's Civil Aviation Authority (CAA). Limited flight operations resumed at Multan International Airport (MUX), Chitral Airport (CJL), Punjgur Airport (PJG), Turbat International Airport (TUK), and Gwadar International Airport (GWD) on March 6. These airports joined Karachi's Jinnah International Airport (KHI), Peshawar International Airport (PEW), Quetta International Airport (UET), Islamabad International Airport (ISB), Lahore's Allama Iqbal International Airport (LHE), and Faisalabad International Airport (LYP), which previously resumed restricted operations.
Disruptions at Pakistani airports, including cancelations, delays, overbooking, and crowded conditions, are expected to persist over the coming days. An extension of the airspace closure is possible should tensions 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 their airlines for more information.
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