The Pakistani authorities have decided to prolong ban on India using its airspace for commercial flights until June 15. The ban was originally set to last until the end of May.
In February, the Pakistan Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) announced the closure of the country’s airspace for commercial flights. The decision was taken after the Pakistani army downed an Indian military jet that had crossed the Line of Control in the disputed Kashmir region.
Relations between India and Pakistan have been at an all time low since tensions soared after a deadly attack in India-controlled Kashmir on February 14, when a suicide bomber targeted an Indian security convoy, killing over 40 personnel. The attack was later claimed by Pakistan-based terrorist group Jaish-e-Mohammed.
Pakistan’s airspace ban for India has hurt India in more than just one way. The disruption has forced international airlines to take costly and time-consuming detours to the north and south, adding flight time for passengers and fuel costs for airlines. Hundreds of commercial and cargo flights are affected each day. Reuters counted 311 such flights between four airports in Europe and four in Southeast Asia.