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Afghan Chief Executive welcomes Pakistan’s decision to reopen airspace

KABUL: Afghan Chief Executive Dr. Abdullah Abdullah has welcomed Pakistan’s decision to reopen its airspace to all commercial flights, ARY News reported on Wednesday.

In a tweet, Abdullah wrote that the air connectivity and affordable airfare played an important role in South Asia’s regional integration, which is vital for the region’s prosperity.

Pakistan’s airspace was re-opened completely for flights, the Civil Aviation Authority said in its notice to Airmen (NOTAM) on July 16.

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Pakistan shut its airspace on February 27 this year, forcing carriers to reroute flights, after an aerial dogfight between Pakistan and Indian air forces.

“With immediate effect Pakistan airspace is open for all type of civil traffic on published ATS (Air Traffic Service) routes,” a NOTAM published on the CAA’s website said.

Pakistan had recently dismissed the request of India to open the airspace until the latter de-escalates, Aviation Secretary Shah­rukh Nusrat told a parliamentary committee.

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The move is expected to give relief to the flights from India, as the airlines had to re-route flights due to the closure of Pakistani airspace.

In the wake of airspace closure, the flights of several airlines around the world were either re-routed or canceled, with as many as 400 flights being affected on a daily basis. Air India was one of the worst-hit airlines due to Pakistan’s airspace closure.

The end of airspace closure will benefit all international flights from the eastern side including Indian aircraft.

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The decision will also result in restoration flights from Lahore to Delhi, Bangkok, Kuala Lumpur and other major aviation destinations in the east.

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