FILE PHOTO: An arial view of the airplane hub at the airport in Karachi, Pakistan February 3, 2017. REUTERS/Caren Firouz/Files Photo
ISLAMABAD (Reuters) – Pakistani airspace on its eastern border with India will remain closed until June 14, a civil aviation official said on Wednesday, the latest extension months after a standoff between the arch rivals.
Pakistan closed its airspace in February after a suicide attack by a Pakistan-based militant group in Indian-controlled Kashmir led to aerial bombing missions on each other’s soil and a fighter dogfight over Kashmir.
Foreign carriers using Indian airspace have been forced to take costly detours because they cannot fly over Pakistan. The closure mainly affects flights from Europe to Southeast Asia.
“The closure will continue until June 14,” a spokesperson for Pakistan’s Civil Aviation Authority told Reuters, without giving further details.
Pakistan lies in the middle of a vital aviation corridor and the airspace restrictions impact hundreds of commercial and cargo flights each day, adding flight time for passengers and fuel costs for airlines.
Reporting by Asif Shahzad; editing by Darren Schuettler