Pak airspace remains closed for Indian civilian flights

Pak airspace remains closed for Indian civilian flights

Representative image

A week after Indian and Pakistan Air Forces had aerial combat in the northern skies, Pakistan kept its civilian air space closed at 11 points blocking Indian commercial flights though the Islamic nation opened up its airspace with Oman, Iran, Afghanistan and China.

“As per NOTAM (Notice to Airmen) No A0234/19 issued by Civil Aviation Authority of Pakistan, it has opened their airspace with Oman, Iran, Afghanistan and China only. The 11 entry/exit points located along Indo-Pak airspace boundary are still closed,” Indian Air Force said in a statement on Thursday.

With Pakistan closing the airspace within hours of the IAF striking the Jaish-e-Mohammed training camp at Balakot in Pakistan, Air India re-routed its flights to the Gulf, Europe and the USA avoiding the Pakistani airspace. Private airlines also did the same.

In an advisory issued on February 27, the national carrier stated that inbound and outbound flights from the USA and Europe for Delhi were being re-routed through Ahmedabad and Mumbai while flights landing in India from the USA and Europe are being re-routed via Dubai and Sharjah and would land with a delay. But no flights were cancelled.

Pakistan, on the other hand, called off nearly 700 flights leaving thousands of passengers stranded at airports. After two days, civil operations were partially resumed in Pakistan.

IAF said it continued with a high state of preparedness, to proactively engage any perceived threat in the present security scenario. “A strict vigil in the skies to detect and thwart any act of aggression from Pakistan Air Force is being maintained,” said the IAF.

Meanwhile, Army Chief Gen Bipin Rawat on Thursday toured Barmer and Suratgarh sectors on the western front interacting with the troops and commanders deployed to protect the International Border with Pakistan.

During the visit, Gen Rawat was briefed and updated on the current operational situation, prevailing security scenarios and preparedness of the formations, following which he asked the troops to be prepared for all eventualities in close coordination with the IAF.

The Army Chief inspection of the western borders comes a day after a similar inspection of the forward locations along the Line of Control in Jammu and Kashmir and International Border in Jammu region.

The troops were told to be on their guard to thwart any nefarious Pakistan design to destabilise the country, said an Army spokesperson.

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