(Last Updated On: March 3, 2019)
Partial Resumption of Flight Operations in Pakistan
Partial resumption of flight operations was initiated by Pakistan Civil Aviation Authority (PCAA) after thousands of passengers were left stranded worldwide after Islamabad shut down air travel following escalating tensions with neighbouring India. An Indian fighter jet was shot down by Pakistan Air Force after it violated its airspace in the region of Azad Kashmir. The IAF pilot Wing Commander Abhi Nandan who was captured after ejecting his plane was returned by the Government of Pakistan signalling a strong message to the Indian Government to avoid further escalation of tensions between the two nuclear states.
In a Notice to Airmen (NOTAM), the CAA said the country’s airspace would remain closed for all other operations until 1:00PM local time on Monday, March 4 (08:00 UTC).
A CAA spokesperson said the airspace was “partially re-opened”, adding that it would be fully restored by Monday. She said flights would be allowed in and out of Pakistan’s major airports at Islamabad, Peshawar, Karachi and Quetta starting Friday, with the rest of the airspace to be re-opened “gradually”.
In a tweet at 7:00pm on Friday, flight tracking website Flightradar24 said one international Emirates flight from Dubai could be tracked in Pakistani airspace.
The live flight tracking website also showed at least four domestic flights in the country’s airspace, indicating partial resumption of operations.
The decision to close airspace on Wednesday came after a rare aerial fight between Pakistan and India ignited fears of an all-out conflict, with world powers rushing to urge restraint.
The airspace closure disrupted major routes between Europe and South Asia, with mounting frustration from passengers stranded at international airports.
Thai Airways cancelled nearly 30 flights, affecting 5,000 passengers. The decision affected services to London, Munich, Paris, Brussels, Milan, Vienna, Stockholm, Zurich, Copenhagen and Oslo. Singapore Airlines was also forced to divert Europe-bound flights to Mumbai and Dubai to refuel, while a flight to Frankfurt was cancelled. Emirates, Qatar Airways, Saudi Airlines, and Air Canada were all also among other carriers forced to cancel and divert flights. — Agencies
The United Arab Emirates (UAE) on Friday announced resumption of flights to three airports of Pakistan.
The flights to Pakistan were suspended due to the closure of Pakistan’s airspace amid tensions with India.
Currently, the UAE General Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA) has allowed airlines registered in the UAE to resume flights to Karachi, Islamabad and Peshawar.
The decision was taken after the return of calm in Pakistani airspace, according to the UAE aviation authority.
‘’The situation regarding other Pakistani airports will be reviewed later,’’ the GCAA added.
There are hundreds of passengers who have been stranded in different airports of the UAE and affected due to closure of airspace.