Pakistan likely to lift curbs on airspace usage

Pakistan is likely to lift the airspace ban along its eastern border with India in reciprocation to India’s decision to remove all the temporary restrictions on all air routes in the Indian air space, a senior Pakistani government official indicated Saturday.  

The Indian Air Force (IAF) on Friday announced on Twitter: “Temporary restrictions on all air routes in the Indian airspace, imposed by the Indian Air Force on 27 Feb 19, have been removed.”

Reacting to India’s decision, a senior official of the Pakistan government said, “Once the Indian government lifts the air restriction on Pakistani flights, Pakistan is likely to reciprocate it.”

The official said that India has yet to inform Pakistan about lifting of airspace ban for its flights.

“We only heard about this through the media as no communication in this respect has taken place as yet. We may follow suit once India lifts air restrictions on our flights, he said.

The IAF said it had removed restrictions that were imposed on all routes a day after its 12 Mirage 2000s crossed over to Pakistan and attacked a JeM terrorist training camp in Balakot in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province.

Pakistan fully closed its airspace on February 27 after an IAF strike on a Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) terror camp in Balakot.

On March 27, it opened its airspace for all flights except for New Delhi, Bangkok and Kuala Lumpur. On May 15, Pakistan extended its airspace ban for flights to India till May 30.

(With agency inputs)