06:34 GMT +314 October 2019
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    Pakistani Airspace to Remain Closed to Flights For India

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    Due to the closure of Pakistan’s airspace, flights from Central Asia to India have been taking up to four hours longer than normal over the last three months. Passengers also have to pay higher tariffs for air travel on these routes.

    New Delhi (Sputnik): The Pakistan Civil Aviation Authority on Wednesday decided not to open its airspace to flights heading to or from India.

    "The top officials of Defence and Aviation Ministries held a meeting on Wednesday to reconsider opening its airspace for Indian flights. They decided that Pakistan's airspace will remain banned for the Indian flights till May 30", a senior government official told the Indian news agency Press Trust of India following the meet.

    The Pakistan Civil Aviation Authority issued a "Notice to Airmen (NOTAM)" after the meeting, confirming the partial closure of Pakistani airspace. "Pakistan airspace will remain closed for all overflying (transit) flights till 30 May", the NOTAM reads.

    Islamabad and New Delhi closed their airspace to each other following a pre-dawn air strike by the Indian Air Force (IAF) on an alleged terror camp in the Balakot region of Pakistan on 26 February.

    Pakistani airspace was re-opened on 27 March for all flights except for those coming from India, Thailand, and Malaysia.

    Kazakhstan's Air Astana has suspended flights to India, as the cost of significantly longer flight times has made its two Delhi routes impossible to sustain.

    Uzbekistan Airways and Turkmenistan Airways are equally impacted, but they have continued to serve India, despite hefty fuel bills that make it virtually impossible for the routes to break-even.

    However, Uzbekistan Airways has maintained all three of its India routes — Amritsar, Delhi and Mumbai. Turkmenistan Airways has suspended Amritsar, but has maintained Delhi.

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    Tags:
    air space, alternative routes, loss, air strike, Civil Aviation Authority, India, Pakistan
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