Hours after Islamabad declared its airspace completely open for civilian flights, Indian airlines on Tuesday resumed its operations on normal routes to Europe and other west-bound destinations over the Pakistan airspace.
“After cancellation of NOTAMS by Pakistan and India in the early hours today, there are no restrictions on airspaces of both countries, flights have started using the closed air routes, bringing a significant relief for airlines,” the Ministry of Civil Aviation said on Twitter.
After cancellation of NOTAMS by Pakistan and India in the early hours today , there are no restrictions on airspaces of both countries, flights have started using the closed air routes, bringing a significant relief for airlines. @AAI_Official @airindiain @HardeepSPuri
— Ministry of Civil Aviation (@MoCA_GoI) July 16, 2019
Islamabad’s decision effectively lifted the ban on Indian flights that were not allowed to use a majority of Pakistan’s airspace since the Balakot air strikes in February.
“With immediate effect Pakistan airspace is open for all type of civil traffic on published ATS (Air Traffic Service) routes,” according to a notice to airmen (NOTAMS) published on the CAA’s website.
Pakistan had opened its airspace partially in March but had kept it restricted for Indian flights.
The removal of restriction comes as a relief for Air India which was the major victim, as several international flights to and from India were affected.
Air India, which operates 33 weekly services to the US and 66 to Europe, had curtailed operations due to the airspace closure. It had clubbed together several US and Europe bound flights.