Airspace over Pakistan reopens

Air India planes are pictured at Indira Gandhi International Airport in New Delhi on September 10, 2018.Image copyright
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Air India was the worst-affected by the airspace closure

Pakistan has fully reopened its airspace to civilian flights, nearly five months after it was closed during a dispute with India.

The closure cost Indian airlines tens of millions of dollars, with companies forced to reroute flights.

The state-owned carrier, Air India, suffered the worst losses.

Pakistan shut its airspace in February after India carried out an air strike against what it described as a terrorist training camp at Balakot.

The attack was in retaliation for a suicide bombing in Indian-administered Kashmir that killed more than 40 Indian soldiers.

Flights via Pakistan were cancelled and other flights rerouted after Pakistan shut its airspace on 26 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 published on the authority’s website .

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Media captionBalakot: India launches air strike in Pakistan

The decision to reopen the airspace is expected to particularly help Air India which had to reroute its international flights.

Indian service providers – Air India, SpiceJet, IndiGo and GoAir – lost nearly $80m (£63m) due to the closure of the Pakistani airpspace, India’s aviation minister Hardeep Singh Puri told the parliament recently.