Pakistan’s Civil Aviation Authority on Friday said operations from Karachi, Islamabad, Peshawar and Quetta airports had partially resumed, The Express Tribune reported. The country’s airspace was closed for the last two days as tensions with India escalated.
The Civil Aviation Authority, however, said the airports at Lahore, Multan, Faisalabad, Bahawalpur and Sialkot – which are close to the border with India – will remain closed till March 4.
“We have got instructions that Pakistan is going to re-open airspace for all commercial flights,” a spokesperson for the authority said, according to Reuters. “Flight operations are due to start from 4 pm today.”
Thousands of travellers were stranded worldwide after Pakistan’s airspace was closed. More than 700 international and domestic flights were cancelled over the last three days, PTI reported. Four Indian passengers were reportedly stranded at the Lahore airport earlier this week.
China on Friday allowed foreign airlines to use its airspace as closure of Pakistani airspace affected passengers. The Civil Aviation Administration of China has launched an emergency plan to notify domestic flight companies, cooperate with the Chinese air force to ensure flight safety and set up a temporary schedule for flights, The Global Times reported.
The North China Air Traffic Management Bureau told the state-run daily that Beijing airport cancelled all flights to and from Pakistan on Wednesday and Thursday. As many as 22 flights fly from China to Pakistan and back every week.
“Flights to Pakistan have undergone major changes in recent days and the CAAC reminded passengers to check flight information before they make plans,” the notice said.
The closue of Pakistani airspace ended up in disruption of major routes between Europe and South East Asia. Around 2,000 travellers were stranded on Friday in Thailand’s capital Bangkok, as more than a dozen flights to European cities were cancelled, The New Strait Times reported. It would take a few more days to get the travellers home, Thai Airways President Sumeth Damrongchaitham said. The backlog would be cleared over the next two or three days, he added.