Pakistan fully reopens airspace for civilian traffic

Source:AFP Published: 2019/7/16 21:13:41

Pakistan on Tuesday fully reopened its airspace for all civilian traffic, ending months of restrictions affecting major international routes including from India after clashes between the two countries brought them to the brink of war.

"With immediate effect Pakistan airspace is open for all type of civil traffic," the state-run Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) said.

A CAA spokesman confirmed to AFP that the eastern airspace along the border with India had been reopened.

Pakistan closed its airspace completely after aerial dogfights in February ratcheted up tensions between Islamabad and New Delhi. It removed some restrictions a month later but kept constraints in place along its eastern border with India.

The closure disrupted Indian flights headed west, forced Pakistan International Airlines to suspend some of its flights, and effectively closed off major international routes in and out of Islamabad and Lahore, such as the Thai Airways route from Islamabad to Bangkok.

The crisis between the two countries was first sparked by a suicide bombing in Indian-controlled Kashmir in February that killed 40 security personnel and was later claimed by Jaish-e-Mohammad. 

Days later India responded with a cross-border air raid on Pakistan that kicked off a quick succession of attacks and dogfights between the arch-rivals over the disputed Kashmir frontier.

Kashmir has been divided between India and Pakistan since the end of British colonial rule in 1947.

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