New Delhi: The Pakistan Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) suffered a loss of Rs 8.5 billion because of airspace restrictions since February. “It’s a huge loss for our overall (aviation) industry,” Pakistan Federal Minister for Aviation Ghulam Sarwar Khan said on Thursday. Also Read - Boost to India's Air Power: 3 More Rafale Fighter Jets to Arrive in Ambala on November 5
“But this restriction hit India harder than Pakistan. The loss of India is almost double. But at this juncture d’tente and harmony are required from both sides,” Khan asserted. Also Read - 'I Stand with France' Trends in India as Emmanuel Macron Faces Outrage From Pakistan, Turkey, Others
Notably, Pakistan had closed its airspace on February 26 after the Indian Air Force struck a Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) terrorist training camp in Balakot in retaliation to the Pulwama attack of February 14. Since then, of the 11 routes, the neighbouring country had only opened two routes. Also Read - Pakistan To Strengthen Ties With Afghanistan: PM Imran Khan
Following the restrictions, all flights were diverted to alternative routes by India. Post the airstrike, Air India had to re-route or suspend many of its international flights that connect India with European and US cities.
On Tuesday, Islamabad reopened its airspace, stating “with immediate effect Pakistan airspace is open for all type of civil traffic on published ATS (air traffic service) routes”.
“Pakistan has permitted all airlines to fly through its airspace from around 12.41 AM today (July 16). Indian airline operators will start using normal routes through Pakistan airspace soon,” PTI quoted sources as saying.