Pakistan’s airspace remains closed, likely to open Friday noon

KARACHI: Pakistan’s airspace remained closed for all commercial flights on Thursday, while there had been no official communication from Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) regarding opening the commercial flight operations. However, an official said the airspace could be opened by the evening of March 01.

A number of passengers were stranded on airports, as Pakistani airspace was closed on Wednesday after the air force shot down two Indian jets that violated Pakistani airspace. Indian pilots were also arrested.

A travel agent said Emirates, and Qatar Airways were among the carriers forced to cancel their flights, many to and from Europe, on February 27 due to the ban.

Pakistan International Airlines (PIA), early in the day, announced to resume some flights to UAE and Saudi Arabia as the airline had been communicated by the CAA regarding a short window opening. However, the announcement was withdrawn later. A CAA official said the authority might announce a flight schedule by Friday noon, but it would depend on the geo-political situation.

Three commercial aircraft, one of Emirates, Air Arabia and Qatar Airways each, that landed before the closure were allowed to leave from the Peshawar airport on Thursday. No further commercial aircraft activity was been allowed.

A PIA spokesman said the passengers were inquiring about the schedule of their flights, and they had been advised to wait adding the airline had not calculated the backlog as yet. “Once the ban is lifted and flight operations resume, we would calculate the backlog, and the passengers would be advised accordingly.”[the_ad id=”32940″]At least five Indian airports were also closed and scores of flights were canceled.

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