For the first time after the Balakot airstrikes carried out by the Indian Air Force (IAF), Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday used the Pakistani airspace to travel to France for a bilateral meet.

The Prime Minister is on a three-nation tour of France, UAE and Bahrain.

Pakistan opened its airspace for all civilian traffic on July 16 removing the ban on Indian flights that were not allowed to use a majority of its airspace since the Balakot airstrikes in February.

Flights from across the world were either cancelled or rerouted, since the closure was announced on February 27.

Flights to the US and Europe were diverted over Mumbai and then northwards over the Arabian Sea through the United Arab Emirates (UAE) airspace.

Earlier in June, Pakistan had decided in principle to let Prime Minister Narendra Modi fly over its airspace to Bishkek for the SCO Summit.

According to reports, India had requested Pakistan to allow the use of their airspace for PM Modi’s special flight.

However, in a change of plan, India chose to avoid Pakistan’s airspace and charted the PM’s flight via Oman, Iran and Central Asian countries.

Meanwhile, following the abrogation of Article 370, Pakistan had earlier this month closed its airspace partially, after its decision to downgrade diplomatic relations with India.

Three out of 11 routes between India and Pakistan were closed.

However, according to national carrier Air India, its westbound operations have remained impacted much by Pakistan’s decision to partially close its airspace.