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Pakistan to reopen airspace for Afghanistan-India flights in next three days: Afghan official

11 Jun 2019 1TV News

په پښتو ولولئ2019-06-11 | 33 minute ago

Pakistan has promised to reopen its airspace for flights between Afghanistan and India on June 14, an Afghan civil aviation official said on Tuesday.

Pakistan closed its airspace in February after a suicide attack by a Pakistan-based militant group in Indian-controlled Kashmir led to aerial bombings on each other’s territory and a fighter dogfight over Kashmir.

The restrictions have forced commercial and passenger flights that connect Afghanistan with India, a major trading partner, to double back west through Iranian airspace and then pass south of Pakistan into India, increasing fuel costs for airlines and fares for passengers.

Afghanistan Civil Aviation Authority said that Pakistan has promised to reopen its airspace for flights on June 14 following talks between leaders of the two countries.

Ghulam Masoom Masoomi, director of air traffic services management at ACAA, cited also India’s removal of some restrictions on Pakistan as a reason why Islamabad was willing to reopen its airspace.

According to the official, Pakistan airspace closure decreased transit flights over Afghanistan to as low as 10 from 300. He also said that Afghanistan suffered $20 million loss due to the problem.

Meanwhile, Shafiqullah Atayee, deputy CEO of Chamber of Commerce, said that Afghanistan’s exports declined 15-20 percent due to Pakistan airspace closure.

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