Pakistan opens airspace 5 months after Balakot air strikes

Pakistan opened its airspace for all civilian air traffic after a five month ban since the Balakot air strikes in February early this year.

The opening up of the airspace is a relief to multiple airlines who had to reroute their flights due to closure of the airspace.

The Indian Ministry of Civil Aviation tweeted to confirm the end on the restrictions.

Pakistan completely closed its airspace on 26th February after the Indian Air Force (IAF) bombed Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) terrorist training camp in Balakot in retaliation to the Pulwama attacks on 14th February.

Since then, the neighbouring country had only opened two routes, both of them passing through the southern region, of the total 11.

The IAF removed all temporary restrictions imposed on the Indian airspace after the Balakot strikes on 31st May. However, it did not benefit most commercial airlines as they were waiting for Pakistan to fully open its airspace.

After the air strikes, Air India had to re-route, merge or suspend many of its international flights that connect India with European and US cities. Air India lost INR₹ 491 crore till 2nd July 2 due to the closure of the Pakistani airspace. Private airlines SpiceJet, IndiGo and GoAir lost INR₹ 30.73 crore, INR₹ 25.1 crore and INR 2.1 crore, respectively.