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Amid border tensions, Pak airspace to open tomorrow


ANI Asia
Pakistan's airspace will open fully for commercial operations from 6 pm (local time) on Friday (March 1), said the country's Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) on Thursday.
"New revised NOTAM issued on suspension of Pakistan airspace until 0800 EST (6 pm - Pakistan Time) on 1st March 19," read a tweet by CAA.
NOTAM or A Notice to Airmen is a notice filed with an aviation authority.
Earlier, the CAA had stated that all flight operations across Pakistan would be suspended till 5 am (local time) on Friday, Geo News reported.
The Pakistani airspace was temporarily restored by the CAA for commercial operations, during which three flights departed from the country, amid escalating tensions between India and Pakistan.
The three flights were Emirates EK637 from Peshawar to Dubai, Air Arabia G9825 from Peshawar to Ras Al Khaimah, and Qatar Airways from Peshawar to Doha.
The country's national carrier Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) said that its flight operations to Saudi Arabia and the UAE will temporarily resume on a priority basis.
"PK-731, headed to Jeddah, will take off from Karachi at 6 pm, PK-213 (Karachi-Dubai) will take off at 10 pm, PK-747 (Karachi-Medina) will leave at 6 pm and PK-245 (Karachi-Dammam) will fly at 11 pm," the PIA tweeted.
The PIA further stated that passengers are requested to contact the customer care centre before departure.
The Pakistani airspace remained closed for the second day and several airlines including Emirates, Air Canada, Qatar Airways, Etihad, flydubai, Gulf Air, SriLankan Airlines suspended its flight operations as a result.
These measures came in the wake of an Indian Air Force Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman being captured by the Pakistani army on Wednesday when the Pakistan Air Force violated the Indian airspace.
On Wednesday, flight operations across eight airports in India - Amritsar, Pathankot, Srinagar, Jammu, Shimla, Dharamshala, Kullu and Leh - were shut briefly. Operations later resumed in all the airports.
Tensions spiralled between India and Pakistan after the Indian Air Force on Tuesday carried out aerial strikes at a Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) terror training camp in Balakot, in which a large number of terrorists were killed. The strikes were in response to the terror attack in Pulwama, in which about 40 CRPF personnel lost their lives.
On Wednesday, India said it foiled an attempt by Pakistan Air Force to carry out strikes in Jammu and Kashmir by shooting down an F-16 fighter plane while losing its own MiG-21 jet after which a pilot was "missing in action".
Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan announced on Thursday in the country's Parliament that Abhinandan will be released tomorrow as a "peace gesture".

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First Published: Feb 28 2019 | 9:51 PM IST

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