For the fifth time, Pakistan prolonged its airspace ban along its eastern border with India until July 26, the country’s civil aviation authority declared Friday.
Pakistan completely closed off its airspace on February 26 after the Indian Air Force (IAF) fighter jets struck a Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) terrorist training camp in Balakot following the Pulwama terror attack in Kashmir.
But, in March, it partially opened up its airspace however kept its ban for the Indian airplanes.
“Pakistani airspace is going to be closed until July 26 along its eastern border with India. The Panjgoor airspace will continue open for overflying transit flights from the western side as Air India had already been using that airspace,” the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) said in a notice.
A CAA official informed PTI that the Pakistan government will certainly analysis whether to open its space for Indian flights or not on July 26.
“However, this problem is a bilateral one and no improvement will be created until both Islamabad and New Delhi determine it mutually,” he claimed.
Last month, Pakistan provided important permission to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s VVIP flight to utilize its airspace for his official trip to attend the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation summit in Bishkek, the capital of Kyrgyzstan.
But Prime Minister Modi’s VVIP aircraft definitely avoided flying over Pakistan. Previously, Pakistan had allowed India’s former External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj to fly on an airline directly through Pakistani airspace to take part in the meeting of SCO foreign ministers in Bishkek on May 21.
India aviation sector has suffered big losses because of the airspace ban by Pakistan.
On Thursday, India’s Civil Aviation Minister Hardeep Singh Puri informed Parliament that because of the closure of Pakistan airspace, Air India had to invest an extra Rs430 crore on longer routes.
Pakistan previously indicated that it will lift the airspace ban along its eastern border with India imposed on February 27 to reciprocate India’s determination to clear off all of the limitations on all air routes in its airspace.
Pakistan’s Aviation Secretary Shahrukh Nusrat said,” The Indian government had requested us to open up the airspace. We conveyed our worries that first India must withdraw its fighter planes placed forward.”
He claimed Pakistan was prepared to open up its airspace supplied India de-escalates.